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County fires burn over 4,600 acres

by: Photo By David Jones - Smoke hovered over homes during the early stages of the Geneva III fire last week. Before it was corraled, the fire charred 480 acres of grassland five miles southwest of Culver.


   Firefighters on the Warm Springs Reservation are continuing work on the 4,126-acre Wolfe Point 2 fire, located east of the Wolfe Point subdivision.
   The fire, which started around 6:20 p.m. Thursday, July 27, is under investigation by the Warm Springs Police Department.
   "It's suspicious," said Ken Lydy, assistant fire management officer with Warm Springs Fire Management. "there was no lightning in that area."
   At its peak on Friday and Saturday, Lydy said there were between 130 and 150 people working on the fire, including U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, contract engines and crews, Warm Springs Fire and Safety, and Warm Springs Fire Management personnel.
   Warm Springs Fire and Safety provided structure protection when the fire burned near two homes at the end of the Warm Springs canyon, Lydy said.
   "We were very concerned about it for 24 to 30 hours," he said, noting that it is now fully contained and nearly out.
   This week, a crew of 20 firefighters and seven engines will continue to work on areas where it is still smoking. "What they're going to be working on is all the finger draws that come up from the Deschutes River," he said.
   The fire burned primarily juniper and shrubs, moving east and over Webster Flat, and then both north and south along the Deschutes River.
Geneva III Fire
   

   A 480-acre grassland fire, located about five miles west of Culver, was fully contained July 26 at 6 p.m., according to Sue Olson, public affairs officer for Central Oregon for the USFS and BLM.
   The fire, located on Crooked River National Grassland and private land, was caused by lightning on July 24 around 5 p.m.
   "There were no residences involved, but there was concern at the outset that it was headed toward Crooked River Ranch," she said. "It was caught in time."
   A total of 105 firefighters and support personnel were on the fire at the worst point of the fire.
   Jefferson County Fire District No. 1, the Oregon Department of Forestry, and the Three Rivers Rural Fire Department all cooperated with the USFS in fighting the fire. "We really value those partnerships," said Olson.