Lightning starts wildfires in Eastern Oregon



PORTLAND — Firefighters have put a lid on a wildfire that threatened houses and businesses in the Central Oregon cities John Day and Canyon City.

Mike Stearly of the Malheur National Forest says the 250-acre fire was smoldering and smoking Thursday morning. Tanker planes dropped retardant on it, and helicopters emptied buckets of water. No structures were reported burned.

It broke out Wednesday after lightning struck Oregon, touching off at least four large fires east of the Cascade Range.

One is about six miles north of John Day, an 800-acre blaze in grass, juniper and timber.

A bigger complex of fires started in the southeastern corner of Oregon, near Jordan Valley.

By Thursday morning, the fast-moving Grassy Mountain fires covered more than 38 square miles of grass and sagebrush, about 24,500 acres.