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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow COMMUNITIES WORRY ABOUT SPREADING FIRES

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COMMUNITIES WORRY ABOUT SPREADING FIRES

Imnaha/Horse Creek

By late Friday afternoon, the Horse Creek Fire burning near the Imnaha River watershed in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest was estimated at 4,000 acres.

Three task forces of structural firefighters and equipment were being called to assist local and federal firefighters in protecting homes in and around Imnaha.

By late afternoon, no homes or businesses had been lost to the fire.

Bridge Creek

By Friday afternoon, the Bridge Creek fire 40 miles south of Pendleton had nearly doubled to 6,200 acres.

The towns of Ukiah, Dale, and Monument were all threatened by moving fires.

Both La Grande Fire Chief Bruce Weimer and Fire Safety Officer Lois Riecke were called out by state officials Wednesday. They were to assist with information and administrative management near Ukiah as part of volunteer teams assisting firefighting efforts in the state.

Speaking from the fire command post in Ukiah Friday, Riecke noted that the fire was obviously moving toward Dale, while the likelihood of getting it stopped was not good.

Fire crews were trying to keep the fire closest to Dale west of Highway 395.

Wildfires were estimated to be burning about four to five miles outside of Ukiah, and weather is posing a possible threat this weekend with what Jeff Blackwood, Forest Supervisor on the Umatilla National Forest call conditions prime for erratic fire behavior.

With numerous Forest Service roads, trails and campgrounds in the Umatilla National Forest and other areas near fires closed, travelers and visitors are urged to consider their own safety and the safety of firefighters before considering going into danger area.

Baker County

While fires spread throughout Oregon, a bit of good news came Friday evening from the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team working the Baker Complex of fires.

The four Baker Complex wildfires were fully contained as of 6 p.m. Friday, according to Scott Rotman of the BLM. Control of the fires called White Swan, Morgan Mountain, Durkee and Cavanaugh are expected in a day or two, depending on mop-up progress, he said.

Containment means that a fireline is around the fire.

Control means that all of the fire has been extinguished.

Rotman did say that the Lookout Mountain Road, off Interstate 84 at exit 338, has been temporarily closed for public safety.

Numerous wildfires in the Baker area began Tuesday night when a lightning storm moved through the area. Local firefighting forces were able to control many of those fires, although some burned together and increased in size.

Wednesday threat by the White Swan fire to the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center was controlled, and the center has been open since Thursday.

There are still 242 firefighters, including six hand crews, 25 engines, three bulldozers and a helicopter working in the Baker area.

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