Lightning sparks at least one blaze

By Jayson Jacoby, The Baker City Herald

Lightning ignited a small forest fire west of Unity Wednesday afternoon, and firefighters are patrolling the woods near Dooley Mountain this morning looking for any other blazes that might have been sparked.

Thunderstorms spawned lightning strikes in both areas, said Willy Crippen, fire management officer for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest's Burnt-Powder Fire Zone.

One bolt set fire to a couple of dead trees near Pole Creek, about eight miles west of Unity. The Forest Service lookout atop Table Rock, southwest of Unity, reported the fire.

A fire crew built a control line around the blaze Wednesday night. The fire covered about one-tenth of an acre, Crippen said.

Firefighters were unable to find another possible blaze reported near the 1210 Road, a couple miles west of the Pole Creek blaze. Crews resumed their search for the fire this morning, Crippen said.

Another storm brought lightning to the area between Dooley and Black mountains, about a dozen miles south of Baker City.

Firefighters will search that area this morning from the ground and from an airplane, Crippen said.

The storms delivered rain as well as lightning, so it's possible fires are smoldering and will produce more smoke this afternoon when temperatures rise.

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The Baker City Herald
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