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Lightning Sparks Eastern Oregon Wildfires


Lightning sparks Eastern Oregon wildfires;

one grows to 23,000 acres

South-Central Oregon sees 150 strikes, half-dozen small blazes

VALE, Ore. – Lightning storms Sunday evening ignited two fires on the Bureau of Land Management’s Vale District, one that quickly grew to nearly 23,000 acres, and also sparked several smaller blazes in south-central Oregon.

The smaller of the two BLM fires is being called the Palomino Hills Fire. It is about 50 acres in size and is expected to be contained Monday, officials said.

The larger fire is called the Owyhee Canyon Fire, located about 38 miles southwest of Jordan Valley. It is currently estimated to be nearly 23,000 acres in size.

Vale District Dispatch has forecast winds upwards of 45 mph. That,  coupled with high temperatures and abundant fine fuels in the area, means that the likelihood of this fire spreading is very high, officials said.

“Despite the wet weather earlier in the year, we still have some areas that are dangerously dry,” said Pat Ryan, field manager for the Vale District’s Malheur Resource Area. “It just goes to show that with the right weather event, fires can develop quickly and spread just as fast.

More information on the Owyhee Canyon fire can be found at:

High temperatures and humidity will continue through Tuesday, with a likelihood of thunderstorms, high winds and hail Tuesday night. A cooling front is expected to move in Wednesday, bringing in higher humidity and lower temperatures, which should continue into the weekend.

For information on the current fire danger level, visit the Lakeview Interagency Fire Center Web site at:

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