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Fire Season off to an Early Start

The Bridge Drive Fire in La Pine burned nearly 12 acres due in part to unseasonably dry and warm conditions

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About 3:30pm on May 8, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office gave people in the Lazy River subdivision north of La Pine a Level 3 (go now) evacuation notice, due to a quick-moving brush fire that started from a backyard debris burn.

A Deschutes County Sheriff's Office truck blocks a road near the Bridge Drive Fire in La Pine on May 8. - DESCHUTES COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Deschutes County Sheriff's Office
  • A Deschutes County Sheriff's Office truck blocks a road near the Bridge Drive Fire in La Pine on May 8.

The fire burned about 12 acres and destroyed one home, but no people were injured, according to the DCSO.
 
The Oregon Department of Forestry wrote on its website that the unseasonably warm, dry conditions over the past week increase the risk of fire growth at a more rapid rate that ODF has seen so far this spring.

The road closure on Bridge Drive at Otter Drive was reopened as of 7:30pm on May 8 and the evacuation notice was lowered to Level 1 (be ready), according to a release from the DCSO.



Because of the fire, the La Pine Rural Fire Protection District closed yard debris and vegetative burning. Bend Fire Department and the Deschutes County Rural Fire Projection District No. 2 closed all outdoor burning from May 9 to May 12.

People that need to remove yard debris from their property can take advantage of free drop offs this weekend at the Knott Landfill, on the west side of Bend on Skyliners Road just past Miller Elementary School or in La Pine on May 17 and 18 at the South Transfer Station.

The Oregon Department of Forestry says fires should never be left unattended—including burn barrels, debris burns and campfires. People should have at the ready fire tools such as a shovel, hose or water bucket. ODF said if people burned debris earlier this year, to revisit the area and make sure the pile or remnant is cool to the touch.

CITY OF BEND FIRE
  • City of Bend Fire

This relatively small fire involved suppression effort from Deschutes County, eight wildland fire engines from the Deschutes National Forest, Walker Range Fire Patrol, the Oregon Department of Forestry, Redmond Hot Shots and the La Pine Rural Fire District, among others.

Landowners who are found to be negligent while burning may be held responsible for suppression costs as well as citations, according to ODF.

To check and see if burning is allowed, people are advised to call the burn info line at 541-322-6335.

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