New fires in Northern Oregon keep firefighters busy

(Originally published at 8:52 a.m. PDT June 22, 2018)

At least three new wildfires grew quickly Thursday in Northern Oregon after hundreds of lightning strikes pounded the area Wednesday. The largest blaze is the Boxcar Fire just south of Maupin which is burning on both sides of Highway 197. Officials estimate Friday morning that it has burned 7,000 acres, but satellite imagery from 3:06 a.m. PDT on Friday, indicates, very, very unofficially, it has exceeded that by  several thousand acres. A Type 2 Incident Management Team has been ordered.

map fires northern Oregon
The red dots indicate heat detected by a satellite at 3:06 a.m. PDT June 22, 2018.

The Graham Fire is threatening structures 12 miles southeast of Madras, Oregon south of the Metolius River arm of Lake Billy Chinook.  Numerous residences in the Three Rivers Subdivision are under evacuation orders. The fire has burned approximately 2,000 acres. According to an announcement by the Oregon State Police the Graham Fire as been declared a conflagration by the governor of Oregon. This clears the way for the State Fire Marshal to mobilize firefighters and equipment to assist local resources battling the fire.

A third fire has grown to a significant size nine miles south of the Boxcar Fire, just west of the intersection of Highways 197 and 97. When we obtain more information about the fire we will update this post.