BEND, OR -- As we near the end of fire season, in Central Oregon, officials say the region fared well thanks to good training and planning - and maybe a little luck. Kassidy Kern, with the Deschutes National Forest, says the biggest lightning storm that moved through the area about a month ago, could have been disastrous if resources hadn't been available, "We responded to about 80 incidents in a matter of about four days. And, firefighters are just basically running: they’re putting lines around things, dropping single trees where they are, and then running to the next thing. So, that was not an accident; they were really going there for a while."
And, despite tell-tale signs that fall is right around the corner, the season isn't over. Kern told KBND News Tuesday that the extreme fire danger remains, "While all of us are really enjoying clear skies and some cooler temperatures – and that definitely does help with our humidity recoveries – we are still in fire season. We’ve had, historically, large fires happen in early September in the past recent memory." Last year’s Eagle Creek Fire started September second and eventually scorched more than 50,000 acres in the Columbia River Gorge. And, in the Ochoco National Forest, the Desolation Fire
(pictured) was spotted September eighth; it burned over 4,500 acres.
A small grass fire sparked by a mower east of Bend, over the weekend, highlights just how dry fuels are, locally, as well. Kern says it only takes one careless spark, even this late in the season, "Just as a reminder, that Milepost Six Fire that happened a few weeks ago was just from a lit cigarette that someone threw out. So, all of these little things that we have control over, that’s what we need to focus on, right now." Visit our Podcast Page
to listen to our complete conversation with Kassidy Kern.