LA PINE, OR -- Firefighters say an escaped debris pile led to a small brush fire in La Pine, Saturday afternoon. Crews were called to Reed Road just after 1:30 p.m. and say the blaze scorched about a quarter acre of brush and trees in the La Pine commercial area, before firefighters contained it.
Investigators say Gordon Shield had been burning earlier in the day, but left the site. Twelve firefighters responded with three engines and a tender, as well as a USFS crew.
Residents are reminded to obtain a debris burning permit prior to burning on private lands; permit conditions must be followed, including tending the fire at all times. "Typical weather in Central Oregon often has mid-afternoon temperatures increase, humidity drop, and higher winds - causing increased fire behavior. Exactly what happened on Saturday," said La Pine Fire officials.
Pile burning on private land within the La Pine Rural Fire Protection District is expected to close at the end of May, for the summer wildfire season.