Hundreds of lightning strikes spark fires in central, eastern Ore.
THE DALLES, Ore. -- Crews are dealing with several more lightning-caused fires from The Dalles to eastern Oregon after a thunderstorm hit the area Friday evening.
Oregon Department of Forestry officials estimate that the storm produced around 800 lightning strikes across the region.
Three of the fires ignited last night in the forests about seven miles west of The Dalles are burning over 600 acres combined.
The largest the three, called The Blackhorn Fire, is burning around 360 acres of grass and oak trees in The Dalles watershed area. Officials say it is about 50 percent contained and could threaten structures in the area.
With afternoon winds expected to reach 35 mph, firefighters are working to get the upper hand before it spreads.
Officials said that a smaller 200-acre fire called the Government Flat Fire and the 66-acre Wells Creek Fire were both contained Saturday morning.
Fire crews successfully lined another 125-acre blaze called the Geneva 14 Fire, located 15 miles northeast of Sisters. Crews planned on strengthening containment lines and starting mop-ups Saturday morning.
As the lightning traveled east, it sparked at least two additional fires in the Oregon Department of Forestry's Pendleton unit. The South Fork McKay Fire burned 80 acres and the Burke Road Fire burned an additional 28 acres. Both fires have been contained. Fire crews are mopping up, patrolling and on the lookout for any additional fires that may have resulted from Friday's lightning activity.