|Flames spread over farm acreage as firefighters work to contain wildfire outside Joseph|
Firefighters from throughout Wallowa County, including Wallowa Lake, converged on agricultural acreage in rural Joseph about 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, after a homeowner’s burn pile blazed out of control due to high winds.
The resulting fire blackened 56 acres of farmland in the Alpine Lane area, but firefighters kept the flames from spreading to nearby homes, businesses, a hay barn and hay bales. No one was injured.
The blaze grew quickly as wind gusts reached 45 miles an hour at times, and the orange-yellow glow could be seen in the darkened sky for miles. The homeowner called 9-1-1 when his burn pile spread to nearby dry grass, according to Joseph Fire Chief Tom Clevenger.
Engine and water tender crews responded from Joseph, Enterprise and Wallowa fire departments, Wallowa Lake Rural Fire Protection District and the U.S. Forest Service.
High winds had been in the local weather forecast. Homeowners and farmers planning to burn should consult weather predictions before lighting any fire, Clevenger cautioned.