BEND, OR -- High winds are blamed for a Tumalo fire, Saturday evening. Bend Fire investigators say a 30 mile-an-hour gust lifted a vinyl carport off its base, 20 feet into the air. It came into contact with two overhead power lines, igniting the vinyl tarp, just after 5 p.m.
The burning tarp landed on dry grass near an outbuilding, and flames quickly spread to lawn equipment and construction materials. No one was home at the time. Neighbors used fire extinguishers until firefighters arrived, quickly knocking down the blaze.
The residents left less than an hour before the fire and were on their way home when contacted by Bend Fire & Rescue. Damage is estimated at $5,000.
Bend Fire issued this warning: With hot and dry conditions that we are currently experiencing it is always a good idea to keep combustible vegetation to a minimum. Dry vegetation can quickly spread fire to nearby structures or other materials. It is recommended that dry vegetation be removed within 30 feet minimum of a structure to reduce the risk of fire spreading to other combustible materials.
Photo courtesy Bend Fire & Rescue