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Lightning over a field near Imbler on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. Thunderstorms and lightning strikes started a blaze just nine miles northeast of Elgin that evening, and the fire was quickly contained.

LA GRANDE — A late evening lightning strike ignited a small wildfire 9 miles northeast of Elgin in the Howard Creek area on Tuesday, July 20.

A 10-person crew and an engine from the Oregon Department of Forestry were sent to the fire, which was a little under a 10th of an acre, according to the Blue Mountain Interagency Dispatch Center.

A containment line was completed by 4 a.m. July 21, and as of 9 a.m. the fire was 50% mopped up.

The blaze, named the Little Kimmel Fire, started just before midnight.

The Little Kimmel Fire broke out about 7-1/2 hours after a barn fire ignited 9 miles north of Elgin in the Palmer Junction area around 4:30 p.m. The barn fire spread to land around it. Firefighters from multiple agencies were sent to the small fire. The fire was listed as contained at 8:31 p.m. July 20 and was controlled about two hours later.

The cause of the barn fire is unknown.

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