Firefighters Tuesday night were tackling a range fire that reportedly started on private property in the Willowcreek area and was pushed east by winds onto federal land.
The Vale District of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management reported at about 10 p.m. Tuesday that the fire had covered an estimated 15,000 acres and had no containment. No structures had been damaged or were threatened, the agency said in a statement.
The Oregon Department of Transportation closed Interstate 84 between Ontario and Baker City because of wildfire smoke at around mile post 364, approximately 12 miles north of Ontario.
The Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal said on its Facebook page that no evacuations had been ordered as of Tuesday evening and no homes appeared threatened.
The fire was reported just before 5 p.m. and was burning in grass and sagebrush.
The Vale District of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management had nine engines on the fire with two more from the Payette National Forest. Other crews were from the Vale Rural Fire District and the Vale Rangeland Fire Protection Association. Air tankers also were working the fire, including a tanker based in LaGrande and a single-engine air tanker.
“This also serves as a stark reminder that fire season has arrived in Oregon. In looking to the holiday weekend, please be safe and responsible when celebrating this year,” the fire marshal’s office said. The office is investigating the cause.
Smoke billows up from the Willowcreek Fire on Tuesday, June 28, in a photo taken from Sixth Avenue south of Willowcreek. (Kait Lofton)
Smoke billows up from the Willowcreek Fire on Tuesday, June 28, in a photo taken near Willowcreek. (Kait Lofton)
A screenshot from Flightradar24’s website shows aircraft traffic over what is being called the Willowcreek Fire on Tuesday, June 28.
This is a developing story.
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