In the community, Outdoors

Range fire contained southeast of Harper

Overnight showers helped firefighters completely contain a blaze ignited by lightning that started Wednesday, June 28, around 4 p.m., eight miles southwest of Harper.
Al Crouch, a fire mitigation specialist and public information officer at the Vale Bureau of Land Management District Office, said six engines, a fixed-wing aircraft and a helicopter from Burns BLM were on the fire on Thursday, June 29, as crews shift to “demobilization phase.”
Crouch said no “significant events” occurred due to fire, such as threats to structures, people, or animals.
As of yesterday, the Vale Rangeland Fire Protection Association reported the fire burned on about 160 acres of range. Crouch said the BLM had not determined the total acreage the fire burned.
Crouch said the steep and rocky terrain made for rough firefighting efforts. Additionally, he said the crews saw “intense” fire behavior, with rolling thunderstorms and high winds. Ultimately, he noted the overnight showers brought enough moisture that allowed crews to contain the fire.
“Mother Nature took care of it most of the night,” Crouch said.
Going into the Fourth of July weekend, the weather forecast calls for hot, dry weather. He said fireworks and campfires are a concern for agency officials. Crouch added that fireworks are prohibited on public lands and that he encourages those camping to monitor campfires.
Crouch said there would be added patrols in high-risk areas throughout the holiday weekend.

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