(Update: No growth, crews remain on fire Saturday)
SUNRIVER, Ore. (KTVZ) – A wildfire broke out early Friday afternoon south of Sunriver, growing to about 26 acres and putting up a large smoke plume before numerous ground and air crews stopped the blaze burning on both sides of the BNSF Railway tracks about a mile south of Vandevert Road.
Incident 406, later named the Old Wood Fire, was reported shortly after noon with at least five engine crews, 20-person hand crews, air resources including water-dropping helicopters and structural firefighters responding to the area.
Forest Service spokeswoman Jean Nelson-Dean said the fire was estimated at 10-15 acres as of about 2:45 p.m.
She said the west side of the fire, near structures, had been fully lined by bulldozer crews, while the east side was in the process of being lined.
By 6:15 p.m., Nelson-Dean said the fire had been fully lined at 26.4 acres, with crews working to complete a hose lay around it. She said crews would be on scene overnight, including two Hotshot crews, four engine crews, two water tenders and various “overhead” personnel.
“Great job all our C.O. wildland and structural firefighters!” she added.
Officials reported no growth on the fire Saturday, as a 20-person hand crew remained working at the scene, along with three engines, a bulldozer and a water tender.
“Please remember as temperatures heat up, fuels get drier and wildfire potential grows,” the update stated. “Do your part to avoid a spark!”
No evacuations occurred Friday, Nelson-Dean said, although some people were seen leaving the area by a NewsChannel 21 photographer.
Nearby resident Dan Denham told NewsChannel 21, “This is the closest I can recall ever having a fire here. We’ve been here 20 years. But you know — we live in a forest.”
Neighbor Wayne Morgan agreed: “This is the first time we’ve had one this close. And Dan, our neighbor — both of us have trailers, so we would just hook up and grab our animals and some food for them, and valuables, that we could get and go.”
A Type 3 incident command team has been assigned to the fire, Nelson-Dean added.
A bit earlier, another wildfire, Incident 403, broke out about 11 a.m. Friday near Melvin Butte, between Sisters and Bend, and burned about a quarter-acre in an area previously treated with a prescribed burn. That was “allowing crews to more easily contain and manage the fire to keep it small,” according to the Central Oregon Fire Info Twitter page.
Central Oregon fire crews have stopped numerous blazes at small size in recent weeks, though hotter temperatures are expected to hit the region in coming days, prompting a special weather statement Friday from the National Weather Service in Pendleton.
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