Firefighters Working To Control Blaze In John Day Fossil Beds | KUOW News and Information

Firefighters Working To Control Blaze In John Day Fossil Beds

Jun 29, 2015
Originally published on July 1, 2015 4:17 pm

More than 200 firefighters are working to contain the 4,600-acre Sugarloaf Fire in Central Oregon. The blaze is burning in grassland, juniper, and conifer forest, and was likely ignited by lightning. The wildfire is burning on both private and federal lands north of Dayville.

Part of the fire is within the John Day Fossil Beds. To protect the national monument, firefighters are working to hold the fire and let it burn out, rather than bringing in bulldozers or other heavy equipment.

The main concern for the next few days is weather, said Brian Ballou, a public information officer for the Sugarloaf Fire.

"One of our greatest worries here is with the thunderstorms that are still expected to blow through," said Ballou. "The gusty winds that commonly follow those thunderstorms can really blow the fire around erratically and make it move really, really fast."

Incident managers have called for an additional 200 firefighters to help contain the blaze.

On Sunday, homeowners along Dick Creek Road evacuated as the fire moved toward about 12 homes and barns in the area. Residents returned home after efforts to contain the fire in that area were successful.

A red flag warning remains in effect in Central Oregon through Monday.

Copyright 2015 ERTHFX. To see more, visit .