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Area under fire weather watch for excessive heat and lightning through Friday

Thunderstorms with lightning caused 19 wildfire incidents across Central Oregon Thursday, July 29 with federal, state, local fire departments, and rural fire protection associations helping during initial attack.

A report from Central Oregon Fire Management Service says the Deep Creek fire began close to 6 p.m. Thursday and is the largest fires at 2,000 acres. It is located west of Shaniko and directly north of the junction of Highway 97 and Highway 197 near Deep Creek. The Bakeoven-Shaniko Rural Fire Protection Association will continue to be aided Friday by federal resources from the Prineville BLM District to contain the fire.

The second largest fire (3684) was 840 acres and is currently contained. Along with federal resources from the Prineville BLM District the fire was fought by the Ashwood Rural Fire Protection District. Other small starts are being addressed in the area as patrols look for new starts, which they will continue to do throughout the day.

Near Bend, an incident near Skyliner's road, northwest of Bend, was held to 1.6 acres. Fortunately, an airtanker was passing over the area when the fire began, spotted smoke from the fire, and started initial attack while the fire was still small. The fire had significant potential to cause damage to homes and infrastructure near Bend, but with the air tanker being able to drop retardant on the fire it helped ground resources get to it and contain it. Firefighters from the Forest Service and Bend Fire were able to put out the fire with the assistance of the airtanker and helicopters.

All other fire starts, were contained at 0.1 of an acre or less with the exception of one 2-acre fire that was quickly contained.

Initial attack resources will continue to monitor areas across Central Oregon Friday as new starts from lightning are anticipated. In addition, more lightning is expected Friday, which will cause new starts. If people see fire starts, please call 911 and that information can be relayed to dispatchers.

For current wildland fire information, the public can visit or follow fire information on Twitter @CentralORfire.

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