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Improving weather helps, but fire continues to spread

By Sean Ellis

Blue Mountain Eagle

Published on August 31, 2015 11:18AM

Last changed on August 31, 2015 11:19AM

JOHN DAY — Better weather conditions caused Canyon Creek Complex fire activity to moderate through the night, and fire crews were able to make progress in their efforts to strengthen fire lines. 

Six new fire crews, including two Type 1 hotshot crews, also joined the effort to combat the fire, which had burned 105,048 acres as of Monday morning — up by 3,583 acres over Sunday. The 164-square-mile fire is 49 percent contained.

“Night shifts continued to work on the north end of the fire, strengthening the lines,” said Vince Mazzier, a Great Basin Incident Management Team public information officer.

He said there were no major issues Sunday night “due to the nice, moderate weather we had. The relative humidity came up, and it kind of took some of the steam out of the fire and ... allowed firefighters to do a lot more work.”

“It calmed the fire down and allowed us to get more direct, which means getting closer to the fire and removing any unburned fuel between the fire line and the fire itself,” Mazzier said.

He said fire crews are focusing heavily on the Strawberry Lake and Road’s End areas, which are both areas of concern.

The priority Monday will be on the northern and eastern flanks of the fire, and fire line repair operations will continue along the western and southern flanks, according to a U.S. Fire Service report.

The addition of the new crews brings to 1,026 the total number of personnel fighting the fire. The new resources are being placed mostly on the northern and eastern flanks of the fire.

Total resourced include three Type 1 hotshot crews, 20 Type 2 crews, five helicopters, 69 engines, 17 dozers, 27 water tenders, nine Skidgines and one masticator.


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