Fire crews make progress on Eastern Oregon blazes

By Observer staff June 13, 2013 12:03 pm

VALE — Firefighters battling a pair of fires in Eastern Oregon showed significant progress, according to the Bureau of Land Management’s Vale District.

The Stockade Fire has now burned 6,613 acres and is 60-percent contained, while the Crowley Creek Fire has burned 12,935 acres and is 60-percent contained.

Taking advantage of lighter winds Wednesday morning, and the arrival of additional fire-fighting resources, fire personnel moved closer to containing both fires. The fires are located five miles due east of Stockade Mountain in Malheur County Oregon.

Three single engine air tankers working out of the Ontario Airport provided support to ground forces during fire operations.

Three of the ranches in the Crowley Creek area were threatened, along with numerous outbuildings but crews were able to keep the flames away and no damage was sustained. 

The South Fork Fires continues to hold at 250 acres. One small flare-up occurred Wednesday but crews were able to keep the flames from spreading and containment lines were quickly secured in the area of the flare-up.

The Birch Fire, located near Huntington, started along Interstate 84 on Wednesday evening at about 6:50 p.m. BLM responded with six initial attack engines and three SEATs. Assisting the BLM were the Huntington, Nyssa, Ontario, Baker, Haines, Burnt River and Weiser, Idaho, rural fire departments. I-84 was temporarily closed due to thick smoke blowing across the highway. Fire personnel were able to stop the fire at approximately 100 acres.