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Regional Interests

2 Oregon wildfires kept at bay overnight, but red flag warnings persist

A wildland firefighter swings a pulaski while working the Cutoff Fire near Bonanza, Ore., Monday, June 21, 2021.
A wildland firefighter swings a pulaski while working the Cutoff Fire near Bonanza, Ore., Monday, June 21, 2021.

Crews appeared to keep wildfires in Klamath County and on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation at bay through the day Monday, despite dangerous weather conditions.

A red flag warning, which indicates fire weather is happening or will happen soon, was in place Tuesday morning east of the Cascades. The forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms with lightning strikes and occasionally gusty winds from Medford northeast to Enterprise, and south to the Nevada border.

The Cutoff Fire near Bonanza, Oregon, remained listed at 1,150 acres as of Monday night, and emergency managers reduced evacuation levels in the area.

“Yesterday and last night were pivotal to keeping this fire in its footprint,” Incident Commander Joe Hessel said in a statement. “Firefighters worked hard in extremely hot weather to keep winds from spreading the fire beyond our control lines.”

Residents east of Bly Mountain Cutoff Road and west of Hummingbird Drive between Grizzly Lane to the north and Forest Service Road 3812 remained under a Level 2 “get set” evacuation order. Those north of Grizzly Lane to Highway 140 were under Level 1 “get ready” orders.

Emergency managers warned that while evacuation levels were lowered, residents should remain cautious and watch for downed power lines or trees.

The S-503 Fire on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation held steady at 6,201 acres as of Monday night. Firefighters have focused on the northeast edge of the blaze, which burned close to the Pine Grove community.

The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Fire Management Department reported two additional fires on the reservation Tuesday morning. Both the Fish Hatchery and Lower Deck fires remained small.

Residents west of Reservation Road were still under Level 2 “get set” evacuation orders as of Tuesday morning.

Copyright 2021 Oregon Public Broadcasting