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Scary night glow: Fire along Bend river trail

Published On: Jul 20 2013 12:09:51 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 20 2013 12:35:10 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Matt McDonald was at Riverbend Park for Friday night's Balloons Over Bend 'Nightglow' when a fire broke out a short distance away, put out a half-hour later

BEND, Ore. -

A crowd gathered at Riverbend Park for Friday night's Balloons Over Bend Nightglow got to witness a different, scarier kind of glow -- a wildfire that broke out just to the south along the Deschutes River Trail, sending up tall flames near the footbridge to Farewell Bend Park.

The fire was reported shortly after 9 p.m. and quickly began to spread in brush beside the tall rock cliffs that line the river.

Steven Chan saw the fire from he river, having taken his kayak out for a sunset paddle. He said he called in the fire, "started by a bunch of kids I spotted running away."

Chan said several passers-by poured river water on the flames to keep it contained while others pulled the dry grass and shrubs to remove fuels leading to the cliffs. Firefighters put out the blaze by pouring water down from the cliffs above, he said.

Meanwhile, police looked for a suspect or suspects who might have ignited the blaze.

Police later tweeted a thankful note of "great response by Bend Fire and those community members who did what they could to help control the fire."

Wildfires have been breaking out across the region in the recent hot spell, with most fortunately caught at a fairly small size, like another one earlier Friday evening about six miles southeast of Prineville.

Crook County Fire and Rescue and Crook County sheriff's deputies responded around 6:10 p.m. to a brushfire near Juniper Canyon Road.

Structures were threatened, but a line was quickly established around the blaze, and no damage occurred, nor were any evacuations or road closures necessary, officials said.

Three engine crews and a water tender were able to contain the fire to one acre.

Also, the 470-acre Box Springs Fire 25 miles northeast of Prineville was declared fully contained Friday evening, six days after dry lightning sparked it and several other smaller fires.

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