Black Butte Fire close to 8,000 acres, two Juntura-area fires at 40% containment

A firefighter works to put out a July 7 fire that occurred outside Ironside. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)

The Black Butte Fire, located in the southeast corner of Malheur National Forest just west of the Malheur County border, grew to almost 8,000 acres as of Friday, Aug. 6. Officials say the fire, which is around 60 miles from Vale, may cause increased smoke in the area.

A U.S. Forest Service press release on Friday morning said the fire “was pushed yesterday, due to extremely high winds the fire pushed southeast moving onto Bureau of Land Management and some private lands.” 

The fire was started by lightning on Aug. 3 and as of Friday morning was 7,645 acres. Officials planned to do infrared mapping Friday evening to get a more accurate size of the fire. 

A Type Two incident management team, assigned to major fires, is tentatively scheduled to arrive Sunday, Aug. 8. 

Several campground and trail closures have been instituted in the national forest and details can be found on the Malheur National Forest website and social media pages. 

Also contributing to smoky conditions in the area are two wildfires near Juntura. The wildfires were sparked by lightning Wednesday evening.

The Mud Springs Fire, located 10 miles north of Juntura, on Friday was listed as 517 acres and the Mile Marker 206 Fire, located six miles east of Juntura, is listed at 694 acres. Containment for both fires is at 40%. 

Larisa Bogardus, Vale Bureau of Land Management public affairs officer, said Friday morning that crews were still working the wildfires and that there was no threat to private land.

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

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