In the community

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 . . .