LIGHTNING TOUCHES OFF 26 FIRES IN NE OREGON

July 04, 2001 11:00 pm

By The Observer

A lightning storm moved across Northeast Oregon Wednesday evening, igniting several fires in Union and Wallowa counties.

Miles Hancock of the Interagency Fire Center said this morning that a fire near Bogans Oasis on the Grande Ronde River near Troy has reached 100 acres and is burning mostly in Washington state. Steep terrain has made the fire hard to control.

Twenty-six fires were ignited in the storms range, including Baker, Union and Wallowa counties. Sixteen are staffed, and the remainder will be examined by smoke jumpers and staffed later today, he said.

Theyre all small. Except for the one on the river (Bogans Oasis) the largest is one acre, Hancock said. None present serious problems.

A one-acre fire near Medical Springs is controlled. Several strikes were reported in the Chicken Hill area up river from Starkey.

Well focus on that area today, he said.

In Wallowa County, 12 small fires started, and six of those are staffed.

Hancock said the area is expected to get more lightning today, but rains may help reduce the fire risk.