At approximately 6:20 p.m. Monday, fire fighters from the Hermiston Fire Department and the Umatilla County Depot responded to two adjacent brush fires located along I-84, one at mile marker 182 and another off of Westland road, next to the to the Conagra Foods plant.

Although the cause of both fires is still under investigation, fire fighters present at the scene suspect that the cause was related related the close proximity of the railroad.

"The locamotives sit at Hinkle and they idle. They build up carbon and when they come out and start building up power it blows the carbon out of the stacks," said Hermiston Fire Chief Pat Hart who was present at the scene.

Both fires were quickly extinguished. No buildings were damaged by either fire.

The fire department is estimating that a combined total of 20 acres were damaged.

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