A firefighter sets a fire to intentionally burn off fuel inside the black spot of the Miller Flats fire on Wednesday, July 7, 2021. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)
Lightning sparked on Wednesday morning on private land between Brogan and Ironside, burning close to 100 acres.
The fire, which is being called the Miller Flats fire, was first spotted on Wilks Ranch around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday after ranch manager Jeff Palmer said he saw billows of smoke. Palmer, who is also the fire marshal for the Ironside Rangeland Fire Protection Association, said he immediately called the Vale District BLM.
“Initially, I thought it was going to be at least a couple thousand acres but the Vale BLM knocked it down very fast with air support,” said Palmer.
Vale BLM crews arrived at the fire around noon and by 7:15 p.m. Wednesday had it contained. The Ironside fire association and Oregon Department of Forestry worked with the BLM to quickly control the fire and prevent it from damaging any structures.
“We don’t care what color truck you have as long as you’re here to help,” said Al Crouch, the fire mitigation and education specialist for Vale BLM.
Crouch said the fire was within a quarter-acre from spreading to public lands, which was one of the reasons the agency responded to a fire on private land. Although the fire was relatively small, it was still the largest one the local BLM has dealt with this year.
The fire rages through the brush of the Miller Flats fire on Wednesday, July 7, 2021. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)
Firefighters work to edge the perimeter of the Miller Flats fire on Wednesday, July 7, 2021. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)
A single-engine air tanker spreads fire retardant over the still-smoking black spots to prevent a wildfire from spreading past the perimeter of the Miller Flats fire on Wednesday, July 7, 2021. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)
Fire retardant speckles tall grass near the perimeter of the fire. The powder colors all the greenery in its path with a pinkish-red hue and works to prevent further burning. It also contains fertilizing chemicals beneficial to the plants. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)
Fire officials say bushes that are not surrounded by grass, such as this one, are more likely to ignite. (ANGELINA KATSANIS/The Enterprise)
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