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Fast action has helped firefighters get a jump on dousing blaze that kicked up on Sunday morning; more 100-plus weather coming

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN
 - Authorities wasted no time in getting firefighters and equipment on the Allen Springs Fire, which was called in at about 11 a.m. Sunday. Several airtankers dropped retardant on the blaze. As of Monday morning, crews have successfully dug fireline around the fire, which was estimated at 27 acres. Triple-digit hot weather this week adds urgency to the effort to completely douse the fire.

Quick action and several loads of retardant helped firefighters get a jump on a wildfire Sunday that started near Allen Creek Road 12 miles north of Prineville.

The Allen Springs Fire was, as of our press deadline, about 27 acres. Fire fighters had successfully dug fireline around 100 percent of the blaze by Monday morning, according to the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center, and it was 40 percent contained. However, hot, breezy weather is expected, adding to the challenge of completely dousing the blaze.

The smoke from the fire was called in by the public shortly after 11 a.m. The response was immediate with three heavy air tankers, two fixed-wing craft, four water-drop helicopters, six engines at least two bulldozers and two skidgens. The fire burned through grass, brush and timber.

While there were lightning strikes in the greater Central Oregon area on Saturday afternoon-evening, the cause of the Allen Springs Fire has not been attributed. Its cause is under investigation.

While there were no homes seriously threatened, the Crook County Sheriff's Office did initiate a Level I evacuation notice — a "Get Ready" alert — to the Lofton Creek Road residents. That level was not advanced.

This week, Central Oregon is again expected a run of triple-digit temperatures. Extreme caution in the woods is greatly encouraged.

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