News | Local | Northwest Wildfires

Central Oregon Fires Threaten Warm Springs Homes

OPB | July 20, 2014 6:50 p.m. | Updated: July 21, 2014 12:30 p.m. | Warm Springs, Oregon

Contributed By:

Devan Schwartz

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Wildfires are burning several thousand acres in Central Oregon on the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation.

Fire officials say a series of blazes known as the Logging Unit Fires threaten 54 homes and have burned 5,600 acres. The total acreage in all fires in the Warm Springs area is 9,500, a spokesperson said late Sunday. All are owned by Warm Springs tribal members. Those numbers do not include the Shaniko Butte fire complex, officials said.

The residents received notices to be ready for possible evacuations. Many have already removed livestock and other animals.

Virginia Gibbons is a public affairs officer with Pacific Northwest Team II, an interagency group managing the fires there. “We’re not through this by any means,” Gibbons said Sunday. “We’re taking each day as it comes. It’s still a very dynamic fire situation out there and it ebbs and flows with the weather. We’ve got a lot of firefighting days ahead of us.”

More than 300 firefighters are battling the fires, and Oregon National Guard helicopters are assisting from the air. Authorities believe lightning strikes likely caused the Logging Unit Fires.

The fires are still zero percent contained and are located near the border of the Mount Hood National Forest.

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