Homes saved, sustaining moderate damage and nobody is injured; cause still under investigation

JASON CHANEY - A brush fire burns up the hill north of Laughlin Road shortly after it started.

Two homes sustained moderate damage, but no residents were injured in a brush fire that erupted Tuesday afternoon near Laughlin Road.

The fire, which Crook County Fire and Rescue responded to just before 2:30 p.m., started near the road and quickly burned up the hill, threatening several homes on Denton Lane, a steep dead-end dirt road that travels north off of Laughlin.

Firefighters arrived to find multiple homes threatened on Laughlin Road, Compass Court and Denton Lane with one fifth-wheel camp trailer fully engulfed in fire and a flame front directly impinging on an occupied house.

"Through very quick aggressive action by firefighters from Crook County Fire and Rescue, the Prineville Police Department, Crook County Sheriff's Department and engines from the U.S. Forrest Service, BLM and State Forestry, the elderly residents of the home were evacuated, and the fire was diverted around the home and detached garage," Crook County Fire and Rescue stated in a news release. "Four other homes were immediately evacuated as the fire burned through the cluster of houses and up Barnes Butte."

More than 50 firefighters in 15 engines, one water tender and one Hot Shot crew were assisted by two helicopters and two single-engine air tankers in containing the fire to 16 acres.

"This fire was truly a multiagency coordinated effort," CCFR officials stated. "Local, state and federal resources happened to be stationed just blocks from where the fire started and were on scene within minutes.

"Because of the firefighter's quick aggressive action in the first several minutes of the incident, damage was limited to the loss of one fifth-wheel camp trailer and moderate damage to two homes and a detached garage."

Crews will continue mopping up the fire through Wednesday.

The cause of the fire is under investigation in a cooperative effort by several federal, state and local agencies.

CCFR said the fire serves as a good reminder of how quickly fire can spread this time of year. The agency encourages all residents to have a home fire safety plan and to prepare their property for fire season by removing dry grass and combustible vegetation from within 30 feet of their structures.

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