Horse Prairie Fire likely caused by humans, not lightning
RIDDLE, Ore. - The Horse Prairie Fire remains under investigation as a human-caused fire.
"Prior to the Horse Prairie Fire, there was no lightning in the area, so that would make it a human caused fire," Kyle Reed with the Douglas Forest Protective Association said. "The specific cause of the fire remains under investigation."
The fire was detected August 27, 2017, about 12 miles west of Riddle and 8 miles southeast of Camas Valley.
The first firefighters on scene found a 50-acre fire with multiple spot fires - new ignitions sparked by burning embers thrown aloft by the fire.
Since then, it has burned nearly 16,500 acres.
The fire forced some residents outside Riddle to evacuate. The Douglas County Sheriff lowered the evacuation notice to Level 2 "Be Set" on Wednesday night, allowing those residents to go home.
The massive Stouts Creek Fire in 2015 was caused by people cutting grass with gas-powered equipment in violation of fire restrictions in effect at the time.
But many of the other fires forcing Oregonians to flee homes and campgrounds were sparked by lightning.
Lightning is also to blame for the Avenue and Separation fires in the Horse Creek Complex, which are responsible for the evacuation notices in effect in the upper McKenzie River area.