Deputies investigate after fireball seen falling from sky in Polk County

Image provided by the Polk Co. Sheriff's Office.

DALLAS, OR (KPTV) – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is looking into what appears to be a fireball falling toward the earth in the southwest area of Polk County.

The sheriff's office and an expert at OMSI agree the stream of fire seen against the sunset sky Thursday evening is most likely a fireball, but at this point, they can't say for certain.

The sheriff’s office says the believed fireball, which is basically a really bright meteor, was first reported as a plane crash.

Jim Todd, the director of Space Science Education at OMSI, says it could be part of two meteor showers that are occurring right now. He says in all likelihood, the meteor could have started as the size of a car and become as small as a baseball upon entering earth's atmosphere.

He says fireballs are common, we just don't usually see them.

"These fireballs or meteors occur almost every day, but most of them are so far up, we don't notice them," Todd said. "This one was large enough to survive the entry to the point that we could see it." 

Deputies Thursday night were working to figure out where the fireball might have landed. They asked for a Life Flight helicopter to fly over the area as a precaution.

Todd says it is rare for meteors to fall on land, but if it did, it would just look like a rock. He says anyone who saw or heard the believed fireball should report it to the American Meteor Society.

App users: Link to additional photos

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


Recommended for you

(4) comments


Ah, the parts and supplies have arrived! Now we can repair the ship and return to our home world.


To the supposedly educated journalists at kptv, what exactly is a “Believed fireball?”

Is there an ‘unbelieved’ fireball in existence?

A tutorial for future reference: Fireball spotted in sky over Polk County believed to be Meteorite possibly the size of a car


Kate Brown’s vision for Oregon?


Ha hahahahahaha... I don't get it?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.