MADRAS, OR -- A Fire management team took over command of the Emerson Fire, Wednesday morning and continued pouring resources into the fire fight, including hot shot crews, water tenders, ground crews and several engines.
Madras resident Dennis Shaw says he saw others getting involved, as well. "The Hay Creek Ranch has some of the ranch hands out here with water trucks, and they’re doing a perimeter out here, also." Overall, Shaw is impressed with the response, especially along Highway 97, "There's good resources on the front line, right now. I don't think it's going to jump the road; all the fire has been put out along the road. But, the center of this fire is very hot and the junipers are now torching because it's finally gotten into the draws where the juniper thickets are." He adds, "It’s blazing real good."
When it was first spotted Tuesday afternoon, the blaze threatened several residential areas, but Shaw tells KBND News it’s now moving away from town. "It burned past the prison and it’s on its way east." As of Wednesday night, the Emerson Fire had burned 10,619 acres of private land and in the Crooked River National Grassland, and officials say investigators are looking into what caused the fire. It's 30% contained. Previous estimates placed containment at 40%
but the number was revised after an aerial assessment.
Crews also spent the afternoon chasing new starts ignited by lightning that moved through Central Oregon Wednesday afternoon and evening. Most of those were held at less than a half an acre.