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Firefighters Prepare For More Lightning In Central And Eastern Oregon


The Oregon Department of Forestry is preparing for another round of lightning strikes this weekend, which could spark additional wildfires. Lightning moved through the southern parts of the state yesterday sparking several blazes.

The Salt Creek Fire is the largest fire sparked, approximately 10-miles west of Shady Cove, along with two other smaller fires in the same vicinity. Oregon Department of Forestry Spokeswoman Jeri Chase says the lightning has been starting in southwest Oregon, then moves into the Cascades, and shifts into either the central or eastern parts of the State.

Chase: “That has been the pattern, and they don’t see a break in that pattern. We are prepared and acquiring resources and putting resources out there so that we can be ready for all the starts that we can expect from the lightning.”

Chase says for the second time this season, ODF initiated Operations Plan Smokey to deploy National Guard Helicopters to help with the efforts. Governor John Kitzhaber must approve National Guard Resources, and they are likely to remain in effect until fire season ends. Chase says there has been a marked increase in human caused fires compared to recent years. 

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