John Day, Prairie City and Hines – A strong storm system moved through the Malheur National Forest Tuesday bringing abundant lightning.

Fire crews responded to multiple new smoke reports. Significant lightning activity occurred on the Blue Mountain Ranger District, with approximately 11 new incidents on the Malheur National Forest reported to the John Day Interagency Dispatch Center. The majority of the fires reported are staffed.

The largest of the reported fires, Incident 115, is approximately 5 to 8 acres in size and is located on Dixie Mountain. The fire was reported at 4:43 p.m. and is burning in grass, brush and timber. Firefighters utilized aerial resources throughout the afternoon and evening, including both heavy air tankers and single engine air tankers as well as helicopter water drops. Resources were able to line the fire overnight. Today additional aviation resources and a hotshot crew will be heading into the area to add to the resources on scene.

As the week progresses and temperatures increase, holdover fires will be expected and existing incidents may produce additional smoke. To report any wildfires you may encounter while in the forest, please call 911 or John Day Interagency Dispatch at 541-575-1321 or Burns Interagency Communications Center at 541-573-1000.

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