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Crews strengthen lines on Bald Sisters, South Fork fires

Fire management is consolidated for the two major fires in Grant County.

Blue Mountain Eagle

JOHN DAY – Fire crews report progress on both the South Fork Complex, south of Dayville, and the Bald Sisters Fire, east of Prairie City, today.

Meanwhile, the management of the Bald Sisters Fire shifted to Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team 2, which assumed control at 6 a.m. The National Incident Management Team and Southwest Area Incident Management Team 3 put in their final day on Bald Sisters Wednesday, with both thanking the local community for its patience and support during their stay in Prairie City and John Day.

On Bald Sisters, crews expect to complete the last section of control line and chippers and excavators are working on repair and rehab in several areas. With cooler weather, little fire growth is expected, but the interior likely will continue to produce smokes.

The fire will be active until a season-ending rain or snow, officials said. The size stands at 1,138 acres, based on the latest infrared reading.

The South Fork Complex is at 65,256 acres, and 86 percent contained.

Crews checked lines yesterday on the northwest corner, from Aldrich Ridge to the South Fork John Day River, while crews on the northeast side strengthened the line with hand ignition along the 2150 Road to the Thorn Creek burn scar.

One new fire start was discovered outside the fire lines on the southeast side, but was extinguished.

Officials say that despite cooler temperatures in the forecast, the humidity will remain relatively low.

Today crews will focus on the northeastern perimeter of the fire and do mop up and suppression repair on the southeast and northwest edges. Air patrols are planned for the west side.

If conditions are favorable, plans call for aerial ignition to increase the depth of the line on the north side.

Area closures remain in effect for the fires, with the latest information available online at inciweb.nwcg.gov.



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