Fire danger rated ‘very high’
On Friday, July 26, Harney County received more than 170 positive lightning strikes late in the afternoon through sundown. Only a handful of wildfires were reported as a result of the storm. The largest, the “Standcliff Creek” fire, located approximately seven miles northwest of the Pete French Round Barn, was discovered Saturday evening around 5 p.m. and was last estimated at 125 acres. Two single engine air tankers, a helicopter and crew, several engines and a handcrew worked on the fire late into the night, making significant progress toward containment.
Firefighters planned to complete a control line around the entire fire and secure any hotspots within the perimeter. Updated information on the Standcliff Creek fire will be released as conditions change and improve.
Burns Interagency Fire Zone (BIFZ) firefighters have been busy on several other small fires this summer. Five arson fires were reported along Highway 205 near The Narrows and Wright’s Point on July 4 – all were contained the same day, though the case is still under investigation. The Mickey Fire, located just north of Coyote Lake, was started by lightning on July 17 and also contained the same day at 65 acres. And, on July 22, BIFZ crews assisted the Crane Rural Fire Protection Association with a 40-50 acre fire near Crane.
Hot and dry weather is expected to continue in the coming week, though no additional lightning is in the forecast.
Fire danger is VERY HIGH, and a regulated fire closure is in effect within the Burns Interagency Fire Zone. The Industrial Fire Precaution Level is a level 3, which prohibits all personal woodcutting and limits commercial woodcutting. Visitors should use caution when traveling through and recreating in the outdoors this time of year.
To report a wildfire, call 541-573-1000. For more information on current wildfire activity, call 541-573-4519.