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The wildfire started Friday afternoon between Highway 26 and Highway 216 on the north part of the Reservation

PHOTO BY SHAWN JACA - Looking south off of Foreman Point, an air tanker drops retardant on the S-503 Fire on the north part of the Warm Springs Reservation.

The S-503 Fire on the north part of the Warm Springs Reservation between Highway 26 and Highway 216 grew to approximately 6,200 acres over the weekend and is 0% contained, reported Incident Commander Kevin Stock at 8 a.m. Monday.

The fire began around 4:45 p.m. Friday, June 18 and was estimated to be around 250 acres. It was located approximately 3 miles east of Highway 26, 2 miles north of Quartz Butte, and 10 miles north of Simnasho. As of Monday morning, the S-503 is roughly 2 miles east of Highway 26 and 7 miles northwest of Simnasho. The cause of the wildfire is unknown.

Some homes were evacuated, and others were told to be prepared to evacuate.

Hot and dry conditions and strong winds elevated fire weather concerns during the last few days, and smoke blew across the region. The air quality index for Monday is forecast to be unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Northwest Incident Management Team 8, a local type 2 team, with Incident Commander Stock assumed management of the S-503 Fire Monday morning. The Incident Command Post is being set up at the Tygh Valley Rodeo Grounds.

Resources of crews, engines, dozers, water tenders and aerial support arrived in force Sunday. Approximately 300 personnel are assigned to the fire. Stock reported that firefighters were able to hold the north flank.

"This was an area of concern as Pine Grove residences lay just to the northeast of the S-503 perimeter," he said in an update on the Incident Information System site.

PHOTO BY JAVIN DIMMICK - As of Monday morning, the S-503 Fire near Simnasho and Pine Grove between Highway 26 and Highway 216 has grown to 6,200 acres and is 0% contained.Efforts were aided with lighter winds from the northeast as the footprint moved to the southwest at a slow pace. There was a spot fire to the southeast.

The fire is burning in several drainages and ridges with mixed timber fuels and brush to the west and southwest with a grass and shrub combination to the majority of the northeast flank.

"The values at risk are the private structures and other infrastructure in the Pine Grove area but also natural, archeological and cultural resources on the Warm Springs Reservation," the update reports. "Crews will work aggressively to hold the northwest anchor point and establish some new control line along both northeast and southwest flanks."

Wildfire updates are available online at

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