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Dispatchers and Fire bosses say all of the heavy smoke that descended on the Bend area Monday afternoon is mostly likely due to very large fires burning as far away as California.

 

The largest fire near central Oregon, The Lava Fire, near Fort Rock, may also be adding smoke.

 

The lightning storm that roared through Central Oregon on Sunday brought with it 33 hundred lightning strikes and sparked about 25 new fires.  The largest is about 10-12 acres burning in the Lake Billy Chinook area.

 

One brush fire has been affecting traffic about four miles south of Redmond for much of the afternoon.  ODOT's Tripcheck was urging drivers on highway 97 to use caution in that area.

 

The lightning storm also struck a house in Sisters, and the First Presbyterian Church in Bend, near Bend High School.  Bend Fire officials say that fire did an estimated $75,000 in damage.

 

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