Crews battling over 20 eastern Oregon wildfires

Posted at 1:58 PM, Aug 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-08 15:58:08-04

Bureau of Land Management fire crews in eastern Oregon are currently fighting more than twenty fires from Baker to Malheur County, according to BLM officials.

They say most of the fire were sparked by lightning.

The largest is the Simmons Fire, burning about fifteen miles east of Juntura, just south of Highway 20. Officials say the fire is burning about 5,000 acres. Numerous resources -– including six attack crews, eight engines, six bulldozers, three water tenders and one fuel tender -– are battling the flames. More resources are en rouite or on order.

The Sheep Rock Fire is burning some seven miles south of Juntura, and has scorched about 3,500 acres. Three engines and a water tender are on the scene.

Meanwhile, the Rooster Comb Fire is burning twenty miles southeast of Juntura and is estimated to be about 125 acres.

A complex of fires in Baker County -- including the China, Estrada, Pedro and Trail Creek Fires -- continue to burn. Both the China and Estrada Fires are contained.

The Pedro Fire will likely be contained Monday evening, according to fire suppression personnel.

The Trail Creek Fire is not yet contained, but crews report making progress.

These fires, now being collectively called the Durkee Complex, are being managed by the High Desert Type 3 Team -- made up of fire suppression and support personnel from the BLM’s Vale and Burns Districts. In total, the Durkee Complex has burned 370 acres, much of which is on state-managed and private land.

Lightning was reported in Baker County Sunday morning, sparking many smaller fires.

In addition to helping crews with the Durkee Complex, the Burnt River Rangeland Fire Protection Association and Oregon Department of Forestry personnel are attacking many of the smaller fires.

Other fires in the Vale District include the Log Creek Fire, which has burned some 200 acres thirty miles west of Vale; the Welch Reservoir Fire, ten miles north of Durkee. It’s burned about twenty acres; and the Old Stage and Tater Gulch Fires have burned about thirty acres each, several miles southwest of Durkee.

None of the fires have so far been contained, officials said.