BEND, Ore. -- Several hundred lightning strikes touched down in Central Oregon Wednesday afternoon, igniting at least 15 new wildfires, including a small blaze at the popular tourist destination of Black Butte Ranch, near Bend, authorities said.
Firefighters, including smoke jumpers, rappellers, hand crews and engine crews have responded, according to the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center.
"Thunderstorms are popping up in the Bend area and along the Cascades. They are moving north and are now north of Mt. Jefferson, so areas near Mt. Hood may soon see storms," KGW Chief Meteorologist Matt Zaffino said early Wednesday evening. "So far, only a few showers have shown up over the valleys, but the entire state remains under the threat of thunderstorms through the night."
The lightning strike at Black Butte Ranch caught one tree on fire and the nearby lodge was evacuated as a precaution while firefighters doused the flames.