- Posted July 13, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Travel photo of the day
Wild fires in Sowtheast Oregon
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
It was a very hot day over 100 degrees driving along Highway 95 on Monday July 9th in the high deserts of South East Oregon in Malheur County. I first saw this big cloud of smoke with a thunder head looking top to it. When I got closer the cloud cast a very dark shadow from what was otherwise a clear sunny day. There were some BLM emergency fire trucks in the area. I was very surprised that I was able to get so close to the fire there were no road blocks. The fire fighters seemed to be just protecting a lone single family home with some out buildings, the only home I saw for miles. Right next to the home the fire was blazing and I took the pictures in my report. I was very surprised to see the flames so close to the road I was only about 50 feet from the flames. I was a little concerned and could feel the intense heat from the fire and the smoke was getting in my lungs but could still breathe alright. I took the pictures of the flames as I was driving with my window open, I did not want to say long.
On the way back though the same area a few days later (Thursday July 12) I was able to see all the land that was burned black as far as I could see, valleys and mountains alike. This is an area of few trees, manly tinder dry sage brush and almost no homes or human habitation of any kind. The only larger animals in this area would be sage grouse, deer, hare, cougar, coyote and maybe some wild horses.
I found out that this fire was over 300,000 acres and highway 95 was closed on and off. The report went on to say "There's been a few fence lines, power lines and some outbuilding on the ranches that have burned but no residences or evacuations." They also say that the fire grew to over ten times in size from when I first came upon it on Monday. The report did not say how it started. Fires are just part of summertime in the west