BLM battles four wildfires in Malheur County, Ironside area fire spreading

Firefighters use a burn out operation on the Indian Creek Fire on Monday, Aug. 17. The wildfire is burning on rangeland northeast of Juntura. (Photo by Brandon Rea, Vale BLM)

TUESDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: The Baldy Mountain Fire was “actively spreading” north and had grown to more than 500 acres, according to Al Crouch, fire mitigation and education specialist for Vale BLM. He said cattle were threatened in the area and were being rounded up.

With thunderstorms and high winds forecast for the area, he said there was a “high potential” for the fire to spread, threatening private rangeland. He said six engines, two hand crews, air tankers and helicopters were working on the fire, burning north of Ironside.

The Indian Creek blaze scorched 9,000 acres and is only 10 percent contained as of Tuesday morning, according to the BLM.

In the southern part of the county the Anderson Crossing Fire, 22 miles northeast of McDermitt, burned 600 acres and was 75 percent contained Monday night. The fire continues to smolder but three BLM engines are at the scene, the agency said.

The 300-acre Baldy Mountain Fire is burning about eight miles northeast of Ironside. Four BLM engines along with air support and a bulldozer from the Ironside Rangeland Fire Protection Association are working to control that blaze.

The 2,200-acre Wildcat Fire is burning near Wildcat Reservoir 15 miles northwest of Burns Junction near the Malheur/Harney county line. One BLM engine, one helicopter and a smokejumper crew were deployed to fire. The Blue Mountain Rangeland Fire Protection Association is also assisting with the Wildcat Fire. By Tuesday afternoon, the fire had spread to 4,000 acres and was by considered by BLM to be 10% contained

The BLM is investigating the cause of the Indian Creek Fire and asked Monday for assistance from the public. The agency would like to hear from anyone who was in the area of U.S. Highway 20 at Jonesboro near milepost 203 about noon on Sunday. Residents can call the Vale District of the BLM at 541-473-6374 or the WeTip hotline at 1-800-472-7766. WeTip calls are toll free and anonymous.

The Baldy Mountain Fire is burning about eight miles northeast of Ironside. (Photo courtesy of the BLM)

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at 541-235-1003 or at [email protected].

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