PRAIRIE CITY - Several range fires, believed to have been the result by unattended warming fires left by hunters, have caused problems for officials in the Prairie City Ranger District over the past week.
The most recent incident to be reported is the Trout Farm Fire which has consumed about 170 acres in the Call Creek Drainage off County 62, according to Lance Delgado from the ranger district.
"The fire is burning on both public lands administered by the Forest Service and on private lands," Delgado said late last week. "At the present time, we are working with private landowners and the Oregon Department of Forestry in managing the fire."
Delgado said the Trout Farm Fire is also believed to have been started by a hunter's warming fire, but the incident is still under investigation.
Delgado said the fire is being managed under a unified command led by Russ Lane from the ODF, and Steve Uptegrove is the Forest Service commander.
"The fire burned actively during the day on Nov. 7," Delgado said. "We have had an unusually dry fall, and we haven't received the moisture we usually get at this time of the year. As a result, the fuels within the forest have remained dry. We got some rain last night (Nov. 7), which helped out. The rain got the grassy fuels wet, but the larger fuels within the fire's perimeter remain dry."
Delgado said resources from outside the area have been mobilized to assist in fighting the fire and there are currently about 80 people involved in the operation.
"We have had quite a number of fires over the past few weeks, not only in the Malheur National Forest but on other forest areas due to hunter warming fires. Hopefully this will diminish as moisture comes into the area," he said.
Hunters are reminded to take precautions when kindling a warming fire and make sure the fire is out before leaving the area.