In the community

Crews contain wildfire west of Vale as red flag warning posted

Fire crews early Sunday contained a wildfire burning along U.S. 20 west of Vale.

Smoke was reported at 11 p.m. Saturday, July 22, from an area at Vines Hill, about seven miles west of the entrance to Bully Creek Reservoir, according to Larisa Bogardus, public affairs specialist with Vale District BLM.

She said firefighters from the BLM and the Vale Rangeland Fire Protection Association contained the fire to 20 acres on BLM land. She said the Malheur County Sheriff’s Department provided key help as well.

Bogardus said the fire was human caused and is under investigation. She said it was the fourth wildfire in 10 days along highways.

She urged motorists to ensure their vehicles are in good working order, including good tires, and to check that tow chains are not dragging.

Meantime, the National Weather Service on Sunday issued a red flag warning lasting from the afternoon to 9 p.m. Monday, July 24, for “critical fire weather conditions.”

“Gusty southwest winds will increase across southwest Idaho and southeast Oregon, especially near the Nevada border, during the afternoon and evening hours Sunday and Monday with very low relative humidity,” the warning said.

Winds are forecast for 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph.

Ontario recorded a high of 106 on Saturday and 100-degree weather was forecast for Sunday and Monday.

CORRECTION: The Vale Rangeland Fire Protection Association responded and helped contain the fire. An earlier version incorrectly identified the responding agency as the Vale Rural Fire Protection District.

NEWS TIP? Send an email to [email protected].

SUPPORT OUR WORK – The Malheur Enterprise delivers quality local journalism – fair and accurate. You can read it any hour, any day with a digital subscription. Read it on your phone, your Tablet, your home computer. Click subscribe – $7.50 a month.