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Lightning strikes spark new fires in Malheur County

The Skyline Fire is burning 400 acres southwest of Ironside. (Photo courtesy of the Vale District Bureau of Land Management)

IRONSIDE — A lightning-caused fire southwest of Ironside by Wednesday morning had burned more than 467 acres of grazing range and was threatening livestock and the Beaver Creek Dam Wilderness study area, according to the Vale District Bureau of Land Management

The agency said lightning strikes on Monday ignited the Skyline fire 14 miles southwest of Ironside. Dry brush and juniper as well as smoke from other fires in the area were hampering aircraft suppression efforts. Firefighters had 50 percent of the fire contained and the forward spread of the fire has been stopped by Wednesday morning.

“Very dry fuels and shifting winds are making containment efforts difficult,” said Al Crouch, BLM spokesman.

(Photo courtesy of the Vale BLM)

There are eight fire engines, two helicopters, two hand crews, one water tender, seven smoke jumpers, two dozers are tasked to the blaze. In total, there are 96 fire personnel on the blaze.

The Lookout fire, also caused by lightning, is smoldering across 40 acres southwest of Ironside, and was listed as contained. It burned across private grazing lands and did minor damage to powerline structures in the area though no services were interrupted.

No injuries, accidents, or road closures were reported as a result of either of the fires.