The lightning strikes that pummeled Oregon and Washington over the weekend have ignited dozens of new wildfires across the region, with fire managers reporting eight new large blazes or complexes on Tuesday.
The largest new fire in Oregon is the Buzzard complex 45 miles northeast of Burns, charring 10,000 acres. The complex is made up of several active fires from the Lamb Ranch and Warm Springs Reservoir area south to the Beaver Table and the Twin Reservoir area near Venator. Northwest winds pushed the fires steadily south and east toward several residences and outbuildings on Monday afternoon. Late in the evening the fire crossed Highway 78 to the south. Working until 3 a.m., firefighters successfully protected homes and structures, though one horse trailer was lost. All evacuation notices for those living near Highway 78 south of Crane have been lifted and Highway 78 is now open though all access roads into the Warm Springs Reservoir are still closed. This includes entrances off Highway 20 East, off the Stinkingwater Access Road, at Juntura, and at Riverside.
The Waterman complex 10 miles north and west of Mitchell is another quick-moving fire that's burned more than 2,300 acres of timber and grass. Also sparked by lightning, the complex threatens ranches and livestock, with some evacuations in effect. The Red Cross has set up a shelter at Mitchell School. The complex is zero percent contained.
The Shaniko Butte fire threatens homes and other buildings in an area about 14 miles north of Warm Springs. Ignited by lightning, the fire has scorched more than 300 acres.
The Bridge 99 complex has charred about 100 acres about 20 miles north of Sisters.
And on previously reported blazes:
The Moccasin Hill fire, 25 miles northeast of Klamath Falls, has scorched 2,500 acres. The fire, which is under investigation, has destroyed 20 structures, including six homes and 14 other buildings, and threatens 231 other buildings. A Red Cross shelter has been set up at the Sprague River Community Center. Though the fire was actively burning on Monday, with short range spotting, crews made some progress. The fire is now 15 percent contained.
The Service Creek fire, which flared 15 miles southeast of Fossil, is now 80 percent contained. The fire, which has held at 375 acres, destroyed two outbuildings with runs through timber, grass and brush. The fire was caused by human activity.
The White River fire has scorched 650 acres about 16 miles west of Maupin. Three structures are with natural resources also at risk. The fire is 1now 65 percent contained. The cause is under investigation.
In Washington state:
The Mills Canyon fire southwest of Entiat, Wash., has charred more than 22,500 acres, running through grass, brush and timber. The fire, which is 34 percent contained, threatens 521 structures, with 37 homes under a forced evacuation order. A Red Cross shelter was set up at the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Fifth Street and Western Avenue in Wenatchee. Crews are holding and patrolling all contained areas and protecting structures as much as possible. Highway 97A is open.
-- Lynne Terry