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Storms bring rain, wind but few wildfires

By KTVZ.COM news sources
Published On: Aug 23 2013 12:37:33 AM CDT
Lightning strikes map

Lightning peppered much of Central Oregon as storms moved through Thursday afternoon

BEND, Ore. -

Late-summer storms moved through Central Oregon Thursday with wind, heavy rain and more lightning, though it appeared the rain was cutting the immediate reports of new fires, officials said.

A handful of smoke reports were reported by Thursday evening to the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center in Prineville, and three small blazes were tackled by initial attack crews.

One fire was the north end of the Three Sisters Wilderness, another southwest of Crane Prairie Reservoir and a third near Lake Billy Chinook State Airport.

On NewsChannel 21's Facebook page, Eric Davenport said "big lightning" in southwest Redmond knocked out power for a bit, while Kate McCormick said thunder was rolling into La Pine

A National Weather Service spotter northwest of Prineville reported 25-30 mph winds were causing blowing dust and cutting visibility to a half-mile to a mile Thursday afternoon.

There also were reports of a mudslide that ODOT was called in to clean up on U.S. Highway 395 south of John Day.

The National Weather Service in Pendleton was keeping a red flag warning in effect until 11 a.m. Friday for a threat of more storms producing abundant lightning.

NewsChannel 21's Travis Knudsen said to expect few "hit-or-miss" thunderstorms Friday, but it will be dry otherwise. Isolated thunderstorms are possible over the weekend, so he urged those heading to the Airshow of the Cascades at Madras Airport to just keep an eye on the skies.

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