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6,000 Lightning Bolts Spark Several Oregon Wildfires

Lightning struck Oregon more than 6,000 times Sunday and Monday, touching off small fires by the dozens.

Such a barrage can be expected to cause numerous “sleeper” or holdover fires in coming days.

Moccasin Hill Fire morning briefing

Moccasin Hill Fire morning briefing

South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership

Northwest fire spokeswoman Robin DeMario says lightning spread from Oregon’s coast between Tillamook and Newport into a fan shape that broadened to the northeast and southeast corners of the state.

Among the areas that got hammered were the Eugene region, which reported 30 fires, and the John Day region, where 20 were reported.

Fire agencies in Central Oregon say about 3,400 strikes caused numerous fires, including one near Cabin Lake in Lake County, in about 80 acres.

Another is near Camp Sherman. People in two campgrounds were asked to relocate, although they weren’t in imminent danger.

View of the fire, in the Klamath-Lake District, on July 13, 2014.

View of the fire, in the Klamath-Lake District, on July 13, 2014.

Dennis Lee/ODF

The Moccasin Hill fire in south central Oregon so far has burned 6 homes and 14 structures (outbuildings, shops, barns, etc).

Lisa Swinney, Fire Information officer for the Fremont Winema National Forest says the prolonged drought in the Klamath Basin won’t interfere with the firefighting.

“Sprague River is an actual river that runs through the town of Sprague, Oregon, so the water tenders and the helicopters that are carrying water are able to use the river,” Swinney said.

However the weather is not expected to cooperate according to Swinney. “Very low humidity, high temperatures. We’re expecting gusty winds the next couple afternoons.”

•Oregon Dept of Forestry will take over management of the fire later this afternoon
•So far the fire has burned 6 homes and 14 structures (outbuildings, shops, barns, etc)
•The fire is burning on private land in timber and brush
•The Moccasin Hill Fire started around 2 p.m. Sunday
•2900 acres [4.5 square miles] as of Monday morning
•100 people evacuated
•AP says no lightning was recorded, cause is under investigation

Oregon Fire Incidents on InciWeb

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