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Crews Slow Oregon's Growing Wildfires Despite Conditions

August 16, 2015

Crews continued to battle wildfires throughout the Pacific Northwest under hot conditions.

Statewide, more than 1,000 people were evacuated over the weekend.

The Canyon Creek Complex is burning more than 37,000 acres Sunday in the John Day area and at least 26 homes have been lost to the fire.

"As we work in this incredibly resilient community; we recognize local responders and the public who worked to help friends and neighbors through this very difficult event with limited resources," said Jim Walker, the Oregon State Fire Marshal and Red Team Incident Commander in a statement. "We will be here for as long as it takes to ensure that you have the support you need moving forward."

Officials said they're still assessing damage after the wildfire also destroyed a local bridge which connects to another part of the community.

The 55,000-acre County Line 2 Fire on the Warm Springs Reservation in Central Oregon is 20 percent contained. Mandatory evacuation notices were lifted at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, but residents must be prepared to leave at a moment's notice.

The Soda Fire, primarily burning in southwestern Idaho, is now the largest wildfire in the nation, having covered nearly 283,700 acres since it started on Aug. 10. In the state's panhandle, an estimated 50 primary structures and 75 outbuildings were lost to the Lawyer Complex Saturday. The fire is about 15 percent contained.

The Cornet-Windy Ridge Complex, the Eagle Complex and the El Dorado fires in Eastern Oregon are burning a combined 109,000 acres. No major road closures were reported Sunday, but officials warn drivers to be cautious while on the highway as smoke is hindering visibility of crews and equipment. Evacuation orders remain in place for some nearby communities.

The National Creek Complex on Crater Lake National Park is now 10 percent contained at 4,800 acres. The north entrance to the park will be temporarily closed starting at 10 p.m. Sunday as crews prepare burnout operations. The Collier Butte Fire on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is at approximately 5,850 acres and 20 percent contained. Crew members hope to reopen some local roads as they prepare containment lines.

Also in Southern Oregon, the Stouts Creek Fire is 69 percent contained as of Sunday morning.

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