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Reported object falling from sky determined to be unfounded

Posted: Wednesday, Nov 14th, 2012

A 9-1-1 call was made at about 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday from a caller who reported seeing an object on fire falling from the sky and crashing into a hillside in the Otis area. The caller said it resulted in a fireball explosion.

Several more 9-1-1 calls were received reporting the fire on the hillside.

Lincoln County Sheriff's Deputies and North Lincoln Fire & Rescue personnel were dispatched to the area. The fire on the hillside was located near milepost 3 off of Highway 18, but steep terrain, heavy vegetation, and poor weather conditions made it difficult to get to the location.

Oregon State Police troopers and a Coast Guard helicopter also responded to the scene, and Lincoln County Search and Rescue was activated.

The additional resources in the area made it possible to locate the exact position of the fire, and ground crews made it to the site. The fire was determined to be a slash burn.

Further investigation by the sheriff's office determined that the original caller who reported the crashing object likely observed the initial ignition of the slash burn, and the low lying fog pockets resulted in the incorrect perception of a crashing object.

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