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Gov. Brown Visits Wildfire as Managers Watch Weather

August 19, 2015

"It is unrealistic for this state, for this region, for the Forest Service to be meeting firefighting needs out of their general operations budget," Brown said.

The chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Tom Tidwell, also visited the area Wednesday.

He said the agency's ability to manage forests in a way that prevents wildfires is limited because so many dollars go toward fighting wildfires after they ignite.

"One of the biggest impacts is it has really eroded our capability to be able to restore these forests and do more of the restoration work, and do more of that forest thinning," Tidwell said.

"We need to find a different way, a better way to cover the costs of wildfire suppression."

Firefighters have made progress building a line around the Canyon Creek Complex, but the fire is still growing. Fire managers expect Thursday and Friday to be challenging as the forecast calls for strong winds and more dry, hot weather.

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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown visited the Canyon Creek Complex Fire near John Day on Wednesday.

Amanda Peacher