MONUMENT – An Oregon Department of Forestry Type 2 team is taking over firefighting efforts on the Lost Hubcap Fire, burning south of Monument.
The fire flared up Friday, sending a large black column of smoke into the air. Reported about 1:30 p.m., it was burning in rangeland and pine and fir forest, on both private and BLM land.
The fire was estimated at 1,500 acres late Friday. However, ODF John Day Unit Forester Rob Pentzer said that based on a flight yesterday, he felt the fire could be as large as 2,500 acres.
It is burning about nine miles south of Monument.
ODF Incident Management Team 2, headed up by Chris Cline, was getting a briefing this morning before assuming command of the fire.
The command post is at the community center in Long Creek.
Firefighting efforts Friday included ground crews, dozers, and air attack. ODF had two heavy air tankers, four single-engine air tankers, and one helicopter fighting the fire, along with six fire engines, four bulldozers, and district hand crews. Additional resources from the South Fork Complex assisted, with the Monument and John Day Rural Fire departments protecting residences threatened by the wind-driven fire. Long Creek Fire and other local agencies also joined the effort.
“Everybody was there,” said Pentzer.
He said there are some buildings in the remote area, but the fire has not damaged any of them. Another concern is the fact that archery season starts this weekend, and there may be hunters and campers in the area.
The Grant County Sheriff’s Office responded Friday to help with any evacuation plans.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.