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Lightning Sparked More Than 20 Fires In Eastern Oregon This Weekend

<p>Around 280 firefighters are working to contain the 700-acre Weigh Station Fire near Pendleton in eastern Oregon.</p>

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Around 280 firefighters are working to contain the 700-acre Weigh Station Fire near Pendleton in eastern Oregon.

More than 20 fires were sparked in eastern Oregon over the weekend — mostly in Baker and Malheur counties.

Though only four of those fires were significant in size, said Robyn Broyles with the National Interagency Fire Center, a majority were caused by lightning strikes throughout the Northwest.

"There's quite a bit of lightning that came in to our general area that came up from the southwest and spread northwest coming across Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Oregon," said Broyles. "Essentially a lightning pattern came across the corners of those states."

The largest of the recent lightning fires is the Simmons Gulch fire 32 miles southwest of Vale, Oregon, which is burning across 5,000 acres.

Even though the weather is expected to heat up later this week, there aren't any red flag warnings in effect yet for Oregon, said Broyles.

Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Meerah Powell is a general assignment and breaking news reporter for OPB. She previously worked as a news reporter and podcast producer for Eugene Weekly in her hometown of Eugene, Oregon. Along with writing and audio work, Meerah also has experience with photography and videography. She graduated from the University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communication.