Butte fire still under investigation

A fire crew stamps out the flames of the Malheur Butte fire. (The Enterprise/Max Egener)

A range fire burned 184 acres Wednesday afternoon in a highly-visible blaze north of Malheur Butte adjacent to the Owyhee Canal.

Crews from the Ontario and Vale fire departments and the Vale district of the federal Bureau of Land Management suppressed the fire by late afternoon.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by fire departments and the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office, but authorities say it was likely human-caused.

“We’re still gathering information and talking to witnesses, but we have a couple suspects we’re looking into,” said Al Crouch, the fire mitigation and education specialist with Vale BLM.

Crouch said anyone with information about how the fire started is . . .