(CORRECTION: Central Electric Cooperative said the bird strike did lead to power outages. Bend Fire and Rescue initially said it was unrelated.)
A 2-acre fire in southeast Bend on Tuesday was started when a bird hit wires on a power pole, Bend Fire and Rescue said.
The fire started at the intersection of Rickard Rd. and Billadeau Rd. around 10:40 a.m. Bend Fire said callers reported hearing a loud “bang” and then saw fire in the grass and brush that was spreading to juniper trees.
Wind was pushing the fire south as crews arrived on the scene.
Not only did firefighters attack the fire with hoses and hand tools, but neighbors and passersby helped, using shovels.
A dead bird was found near the base of a power pole were the fire started. It’s believed the bird hit multiple wires on the pole, causing the “bang” that was heard. There was no brush or grass that was in direct contact with the pole.
No homes or other buildings were threatened by the fire, Bend Fire said.
The fire closed the intersection for two hours.
Central Electric Cooperative said the bird strike caused 492 customers to lose power for about an hour.