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Winds over 70 mph led to multiple brush and field fires cause by power lines across the county

On Saturday July 30, Jefferson County Fire and EMS received ten fire calls within an hour, three of which led to significant fire response.

"During the weekend period, we had several severe thunderstorms," said Jefferson County Fire and EMS chief Jeff Blake. "These were less about lighting, and more about wind. When these large microbursts come through, it can cause power lines to touch and arc, causing sparks. That combined with the dry and hot weather starts fires."

JCFE responded to three larger fires, first on NE Henderson Lane. That fire was started by an arching power line. It, as well as a fire on Park Lane, didn't affect any structures, and were in a largely brush and juniper landscape. As fire crews fought the fire on NE Henderson Lane, they received a call about the fire on Gumwood Lane.

The fire on Gumwood was caused by a broken power line connecting to a barn, the broken line had sparked, causing the hay within the barn to ignite. The fire continued to smolder and reactivate for days after the initial blaze, but was monitored and controlled. When this fire was called, JCFE active a Central Oregon fire task force, which called mutual aid from Deschutes County, BLM, Redmond, Sisters, and Black Butte. The fire caused around $500,000 in damages to the hay, equipment and structure.


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