Lightning sparks wildland fire northeast of Vale

A lightning-sparked fire, the South Alkali Fire, scorched 75 acres about 12 miles northeast of Vale. 

Fire crews from Bureau of Land Management’s Vale District were managing the fire Thursday with help from the Vale Rangeland Fire Protection Associations.

Crews noticed signs of the fire last night around 10 p.m., said Al Crouch, the fire mitigation and education specialist with Vale BLM. 

“We took in some lightning in that area, but our patrols didn’t initially see anything,” said Crouch. “Once it started to get dark, we were able to see.”

Firefighters from Vale BLM and RFPA responded to the incident in a coordinated effort, said Crouch.

The fire, which threatened grazing allotments, was 75 percent contained as of Thursday morning.

“That one could’ve been really bad,” said Crouch. “That [area] there tends to grow large fires.”