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La Grande Observer Daily Paper 09/17/14

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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow More fires sprout up

More fires sprout up

BAKER CITY — Fires broke out this weekend following lightning storms that streaked across Northeast Oregon.

The Mt. Ireland/North Fork John Day Wilderness had several starts — the largest is 15 acres — and most are burning in the Baldy Creek drainage.

A local Type 3 Interagency Team has been assigned to manage the complex of fires dubbed “Mt. Ireland.”

A release from the Wallowa-Whitman said a handful of fires were detected on the ridgeline above Hells Canyon Reservoir on the Oregon side. Single engine air tankers and helicopters are dropping retardant and water on the conflagrations.

Crews across the Wallowa-Whitman, Umatilla and Malheur national forests responded to dozens of fires detected the last two days. Several more may be discovered, the release said.

Crews continue work on the Hurricane Creek and China Cap Fires in the Eagle Cap Wilderness.

The Hurricane Creek Fire broke out July 21 and has burned 1,108 acres four miles south of Joseph. It is now 20 percent contained.

A 20-person crew from the Fremont-Winema National Forest and the Forest’s North Zone are assigned to the fire that will be putting smoke in the Upper Wallowa for some time, the release said.

The North Zone’s Gabe Hale was assigned to the fire when it broke out and is monitoring and analyzing its long-term behavior.

The fire continues to be active on the south end, burning into the Eagle Cap Wilderness and the Twin Creek drainage. Burn-out operations successfully secured the northwest corner of the fire, strengthening the line nearest private land and area closest to Hurricane Creek Trail, road and campground. The China Cap Fire burning in the wilderness outside of Union is 10 percent contained.
Smoke jumpers and helicopters are working to to keep the fire, burning in subalpine fir in steep terrain, east of China Cap Creek and south of the Minam River. 

 
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