Sunflower Fire in Umatilla County Grows to 400 Acres - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Sunflower Fire in Umatilla County Grows to 400 Acres

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PENDLETON, Ore. - A fire on the Umatilla National Forest's Heppner Ranger District is growing.

The Sunflower Fire, located 10 miles north-northwest of Monument, has grown to 400 acres on the district and 70 acres on adjacent private lands. The fire started by lightning on July 13th and is burning in steep rocky terrain and timbered strings mixed with open grasslanes. No structures are threatened at this time.

"Tuesday, fire crews conducted burnout operations to secure the south and east flank of the fire. However, late afternoon winds pushed the fire over the line and it made a run down canyon to the south, toward Turner Mountain," said Ann Niesen, Heppner District Ranger.

Crews are currently battling the blaze with 8 engines, 2 fallers, 1 water tender, 1 dozer, air craft support, and Umatilla National Forest firefighters. 100 people are currently on scene to fight the fire.

The Sunflower Fire is one of 17 fires that started from recent lightning activity. All other fires have been contained and are being mopped up.

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