A thunderstorm that passed through Central Oregon late Friday evening produced lightning that started a series of fires on the Ochoco National Forest, the Prineville District of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and private lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF). According to the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center, firefighters continue to work on three wildland fires started by Friday’s thunderstorms, including the Millican East fire, Fire 403 and Fire 428.
Millican East – This lightning-caused fire started in the early evening on Friday, July 6 and is burning about 19 miles northeast of Brothers (24 miles south of Prineville) on BLM lands. The fire is currently 2,420 acres in size, 50% contained and continues to burn actively in grass, sage and juniper. The fire is three miles from residences in the Juniper Acres subdivision where a voluntary pre-evacuation is in place. Other resources threatened include Crook County power lines and sage grouse habitat. A single engine air tanker is currently assigned in addition to three hand crews, nine engines and three water tenders. Burnout operations are in progress on the southeast corner. Continued perimeter growth is expected due to poor access and challenging terrain. 93 fire personnel are assigned to the blaze.
Fire 403 – Fire 403 is located two miles east of Paulina on private lands and lands administered by the BLM. An engine crew and the Rangeland Association have made excellent progress and the fire is now 90% contained and remains 1,000 acres in size.
Fire 428 – Fire 428 is located approximately seven miles north of Paulina and is currently 334 acres in size. The fire is burning in grass and sagebrush with juniper and pine trees in the draws. Resources currently assigned to the fire will be released later this evening; tomorrow’s day shift resources will consist of five engines, one water-tender and one 20-person hand crew.