Firefighters Are Hard At Work In Eastern Oregon

Jul 10, 2012

In Eastern Oregon Tuesday, fire engines, hand crews and materials continued to pour in from across the region, as fire managers worked to contain a number of blazes sparked by recent lightning storms.

The largest of those fires is the Longdraw fire. As of Monday, it had burned more than 32,000 acres of public land in Oregon's southeast corner.

Mark Wilkening is the public affairs officer for the Bureau of Land Management’s Vale district office. He says fire managers may have dodged a bullet Monday when lightning storms apparently started no new fires. But that might be the only help in the short-term fire crews can expect from Mother Nature.

Wilkening: "The temperatures continue to be in the hundreds here, and that's predicted for the entire week."

Smaller fires continue to burn across Eastern Oregon. Outside of Prineville Tuesday morning, a van carrying 10 contract firefighters collided with a semi-truck as the crew made its way to a fire outside John Day. According to the Oregon State Police, one of those firefighters remains in critical condition at a Bend Hospital. The other nine were treated for minor injuries.

Copyright 2012 Oregon Public Broadcasting