In Madras, Antelope area

by: PHOTO BY KEITH BANNING - Jefferson County fire crews responded to a brush fire along U.S. Highway 97, at J Street, on Sunday.Two fires — one small one in Madras, and a large one near Antelope —kept fire crews busy over the long holiday weekend.

On Thursday, July 3, around 3 p.m., a fire on a private ranch southeast of Antelope was called in to the Bureau of Land Management, which keeps an engine at the fire station in Madras. The fire burned 3,078 acres of cheatgrass and sagebrush, according to Gene Nawrot, a range technician with the BLM, which responded with an engine and three personnel.

"We worked on it for two days, and they're still checking on it," he said Monday.

On Sunday, July 6, a passing motorist reported a grass fire beside U.S. Highway 97, on the west side of the highway at J Street, around 11:51 a.m.

"We cut the lock (on the fence surrounding the property of the old pawn shop) and then gained access and extinguished the fire," said Jefferson County Fire Chief Brian Huff, who had not determined the cause of the fire.

Huff estimated that the fire burned about a quarter-acre of dried grass and weeds, "but we caught it before it did any damage to the building."

The department responded with three fire trucks, plus the BLM engine, and nine personnel, who spent about an hour mopping up the fire.

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