Hot, dry weather encouraging western wildfires - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Hot, dry weather encouraging western wildfires

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership). In this photo provided by South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership, smoke from a fire is seen Sunday, July 13, 2014, near Moccasin Hill, Ore. (AP Photo/South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership). In this photo provided by South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership, smoke from a fire is seen Sunday, July 13, 2014, near Moccasin Hill, Ore.
(AP Photo/The Record Searchlight, Greg Barnette). FILE - In this July 11, 2014 photo, a member of an inmate firefighting crew works on the Bully fire  near Ono, Calif. (AP Photo/The Record Searchlight, Greg Barnette). FILE - In this July 11, 2014 photo, a member of an inmate firefighting crew works on the Bully fire near Ono, Calif.
  • NationalMore>>

  • Broken water main floods UCLA; 5 people rescued

    Broken water main floods UCLA; 5 people rescued

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:27 AM EDT2014-07-30 04:27:07 GMT
    A broken water main near the UCLA campus Tuesday sent a geyser of water some 30 feet into the air, forced the rescue of people trapped in underground parking garages and covered some of the best-known parts of...More
    A broken water main near the UCLA campus Tuesday sent a geyser of water some 30 feet into the air, trapping people in underground parking garages and covering some of the best-known parts of campus in water, including the...More
  • 4 teens charged with murder in USC student's death

    4 teens charged with murder in USC student's death

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:21 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:21:42 GMT
    Four teens were charged Tuesday with murder in the fatal beating of a University of Southern California graduate student with a baseball bat and wrench as he walked to his off-campus apartment after meeting with a...More
    Four teens were charged Tuesday with murder in the beating of a University of Southern California graduate student with a baseball bat and wrench as he walked to his off-campus apartment after meeting with a study group.More
  • Man wrongly imprisoned seeks millions from state

    Man wrongly imprisoned seeks millions from state

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:15 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:15:45 GMT
    A man who was imprisoned 21 years for a rape and murder he didn't commit is set to testify at a first-ever Connecticut hearing to determine how much he should be compensated.More
    A man cleared of murder and rape charges after being locked up for two decades made an emotional appeal for millions of dollars in compensation on Tuesday, telling the state claims commissioner about the fear he endured in...More
By STEVEN DUBOIS and TIM FOUGHT
Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A southern Oregon wildfire has destroyed six homes and 14 other buildings, and dozens of additional blazes ignited after thousands of lightning strikes lashed the state.

In central Oregon, a wildfire at the confluence of the Ochoco National Forest and ranchland has prompted the evacuation of numerous campgrounds and nearly a dozen ranch homes, Wheeler County Sheriff Chris Humphreys said Monday night. Local fire departments were protecting homes.

The Bailey Butte fire also temporarily closed a 2-mile section of U.S. Highway 26 about 13 miles west of Mitchell, the Oregon Transportation Department said.

The destructive Moccasin Hill fire - named for a longstanding subdivision - began Sunday near the ranching town of Sprague River, about 25 miles northeast of Klamath Falls, fire spokeswoman Erica Hupp said Monday. Many residents keep horses and cattle on plots of 3 to 5 acres, and neighbors have been stepping in to shelter both stock and pets, she said.

The blaze has burned across about 4 square miles, fire officials said, and caused more than 100 people to evacuate before the threat subsided and many returned home.

Another fire spokeswoman, Tina O'Donnell, said 231 structures remained threatened Monday and one minor injury was reported. She did not know if the injury was suffered by a resident or a firefighter.

Walter "Butch" Browning, who operates a general store in Sprague River, said the flames reached the driveway at his home Sunday afternoon, forcing his wife to "get out of there" with a computer, a change of clothes, medications and the dogs. The wind changed direction, he said, sparing his place. He slept in his own bed, confident there were enough firefighters between his house and the blaze that has left burning stumps.

Wildfires are an annual concern for the community, Browning said. He has been evacuated at least four times in his 22 years on the property, and once lost a home, he said.

"I had two houses at one time; I have one now. I'm down to my last house," he quipped. "It's the price you pay for living in paradise, I guess."

A shelter for displaced residents has been set up at the Sprague River Community Center. Only one person spent the night, but more people filtered in Monday to take advantage of food and other services, said Julie Miller, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross Cascades Region.

The fire is believed to have been started by humans, though how it began is still under investigation. It is zero percent contained.

"Our objectives are clear; we will minimize the growth of the fire by utilizing direct attack efforts wherever possible," said incident commander Chris Cline.

Meanwhile, lightning struck Oregon more than 6,000 times Sunday and Monday, touching off small fires by the dozens on both sides of the Cascades. Such a barrage can be expected to cause numerous "sleeper" or holdover fires in coming days, said Robin DeMario, spokeswoman for the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center.

Elsewhere in the West, authorities in Northern California say a wildfire started by exhaust from a truck at a marijuana cultivation site led to new evacuations Monday. It was not clear how many homes were included in the new evacuation order in the rural Shasta County community of Igo.

Fire officials previously said the Bully Fire, which started on Friday, was threatening 15 homes after destroying eight homes and 10 other structures.

A 27-year-old Sacramento man, Freddie Alexander Smoke III, was arrested on suspicion of causing the blaze. Fire crews have been hindered by steep terrain, dry conditions and triple-digit heat.

In Idaho, the Boise County Sheriff's Office asked residents of about 60 homes east of Alder Creek in Garden Valley to voluntarily evacuate because of the Calder Fire. It's one of about 20 blazes sparked by lightning across the Boise National Forest during a storm Sunday night.

Firefighters got a better handle Monday on a wildfire burning in central Washington.

The Mills Canyon fire was 34 percent contained by Monday night, fire officials said. It remains about 35 square miles. The area near Entiat saw a few lightning strikes Monday but no new fire starts, fire spokesman Vladimir Steblina said.

Residents of three dozen homes have been told to evacuate. Officials notified residents of about 500 other homes to watch fire updates and be prepared to leave.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • InternationalMore>>

  • Official: 13 killed as shells hit Gaza UN school

    Official: 13 killed as shells hit Gaza UN school

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:55 AM EDT2014-07-30 04:55:48 GMT
    A Palestinian health official says 13 people were killed after tank shells hit a U.N. school in Gaza where hundreds of Palestinians had taken refuge from Israeli attacks.More
    A Palestinian health official says 13 people were killed after tank shells hit a U.N. school in Gaza where hundreds of Palestinians had taken refuge from Israeli attacks.More
  • China: Ex-security czar Zhou under investigation

    China: Ex-security czar Zhou under investigation

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:34 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:34:09 GMT
    China's Communist Party says it has launched an investigation into a former domestic security chief who was once among the country's most feared leaders.More
    China's ruling Communist Party announced an investigation into a feared ex-security chief, demonstrating President Xi Jinping's firm grip on power and breaking a longstanding taboo against publicly targeting the...More
  • China reports deadly attack in northwest

    China reports deadly attack in northwest

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:37 PM EDT2014-07-30 01:37:14 GMT
    A mob armed with knives rampaged through part of China's volatile northwestern region of Xinjiang and police responded with gunfire, leaving dozens of people dead in the latest violence blamed on Islamic...More
    A mob armed with knives and axes rampaged through part of China's volatile northwestern region of Xinjiang and police responded with gunfire, leaving dozens of people dead in the latest violence blamed Islamic...More
Powered by WorldNow

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service