Wildfires rage across the region, Red Flag warning in effect through Friday morning

Lightning sparked wildfires throughout the area early this week. This photo is from a wildfire earlier this summer outside Ironside. (The Enterprise/ANGELINA KATSANIS)

JUNTURA – Storms and high winds overnight Wednesday ignited two new wildfires in Malheur County, preceding a Red Flag Warning that wasn’t supposed to go into effect until Thursday morning. 

The Mud Springs fire, located near Juntura, was caused by lightning Wednesday evening and had already grown to 750 acres as of Thursday morning. The second fire, near mile marker 202 towards Juntura, was also sparked by lightning and had reached 350 acres. 

Both fires, as of Thursday morning, were 0% contained. 

More wildfires could be coming to the area as the National Weather Service in Boise issued a Red Flag Warning for Malheur County that is set to begin at noon Thursday and be in effect until 6 am Friday, Aug. 5. Thunderstorms throughout the day until tomorrow morning will also be paired with a wind advisory that could bring gusts up to 55 mph. 

The 4,000 acre Black Butte fire has continued to burn in Malheur National Forest, with officials saying Wednesday night that livestock and campground facilities in the area could be threatened. The fire was at 0% containment as of Thursday morning.

The location is eight miles northeast of Antelope Lookout in Grant County. 

Al Crouch, the fire mitigation/education specialist for the Vale District of the Bureau of Land Management, said Wednesday that the Vale district had sent some resources to help with the Black Butte fire but that it was still a couple miles from their boundary.

News tip? Contact reporter Joey Cappelletti at [email protected] or 616-610-3093.

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