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Officials say Ochoco Irrigation District had been doing a controlled burn along the canal before the fire started

HOLLY SCHOLZ/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Crook County Fire and Rescue and Crook County Sheriff's Office responded to a brush fire near Ochoco West Friday afternoon. No homes were in danger.

A small brush fire broke out Friday early afternoon near Ochoco West subdivision, but no homes were in danger.

"It looks like maybe they were burning the ditches and it might have had some heat in it," said Crook County Undersheriff James Savage at the scene. "I don't know when they burned the ditches, but it looks like maybe there was something smoldering. It's not really going anywhere. The grass is still pretty green."

An alert Ochoco West resident spotted some smoke along North Grizzly Road near Northwest Prine Road early Friday afternoon.

"I saw it, and I pulled over here, and I didn't see any vehicles around," said Trina Engebretson.

She alerted Shawn Peschel, who is on the Ochoco West Property Owners Association Board.

Peschel knew that Ochoco Irrigation District had been doing some burning along the canal, but when he saw flames as high as the juniper trees, he knew it was not a controlled burn and called the fire department.

Crook County Fire and Rescue responded as well as deputies from the Crook County Sheriff's Office.

Savage said the fire was about a quarter of an acre.

"It's right along the canal. You can see where they burned, but they're irrigating now, so it looks like it was just sitting there smoldering and got hot," he said, noting that no homes were in danger. "It's maybe a 200-foot circle. It's burning in green grass, so it's not going anywhere."

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