PRINEVILLE, OR -- The Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center said more than 7,500 lightning strikes pounded the area Tuesday. The storms, which started around 1 a.m., sparked approximately 50 news fires in the area, and crews were able to keep most to less than a quarter acre in size. The largest fire, the Buckhorn Fire, is burning is steep terrain along a remote section of the John Day River east of Antelope. As of Tuesday evening, the fire had grown to 150 acres. The Prineville Hotshots, a five-person hand crew, four rappellers, two helicopter and three engines are fighting the Buckhorn Fire.
A Red Flag Warning for lightning storms remains in effect until 11 p.m. Wednesday. Although some areas received heavy precipitation with these storms, it can take only hours for light fuels like grass to dry out.