An unauthorized burn pile that was allowed to get out of control nearly put one person in danger Friday and threatened some structures before being brought under control.
>The land owner that allowed the unauthorized burn pile to get out of hand suffered minor burns and will probably be billed for the cost of fire suppression efforts
The fire northwest of Prineville in the Sagebrush Lane area was reported to the Prineville Fire Department shortly after noon Friday. Reportedly, the trash fire got from the man who started the fire and it spread rapidly. Fire Chief Bob Schnoor blamed winds, low humidity and high temperatures as the cause of the fire getting out of control.
Four engines from the local fire department arrived to find the land owner attempting to put out the fire. He was found to be suffering from minor burns to his hands and feet and was beginning to experience heat stroke.
Schnoor said the fire was growing faster than the fire fighters could control it. Coordinating efforts with Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch, fire crews from the Forest Service, BLM, Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon State Police and Crook County Search and Rescue responded to provide public safety and contain the blaze.
With the four engines, two ambulances, five BLM engines, three Forest Service engines, two ODF engines, a helicopter, two single engine air tankers and a BLM Helitack crew, the fire was finally contained just before dark. Crews returned Saturday to mop up some of the hot spots. Using Ground Positioning Satellite technology, it was determined that the fire had blackened 32 acres of private land.
Although two structures had been threatened, Schnoor reported that neither was damaged. The land owner was assisted to his home, evaluated by medical personnel. He refused transport to Pioneer Memorial Hospital and was treated by the EMT's.
Schnoor said he is working on what the cost of the fire suppression effort would be and it is quite likely the land owner will be billed for those efforts.