The Rail Fire near Unity is now 18,623 acres, 15-percent contained and continues to expand, according to a Tuesday fire update from Incident Commander Shawn Sheldon.

Citing an increase in winds and instability, the update said the fire had crossed the 1370 road and established itself in the Monument Rock Wilderness.

Hand crews continue to use burnout techniques, and as portions of the fire cool, mop-up activities will begin with water tenders and fire engines patrolling the perimeters for signs of smoke.

The fire is being battled by 21 crews, 21 engines, five dozers, 18 water tenders, four masticators, five skidders and six helicopters.

Crews face hot, dry weather with low humidity expected overnight.

Smoke conditions are expected to range between very unhealthy and hazardous in Unity during the morning hours. For more information on smoke conditions and what to do,

The Wallowa-Whitman and Malheur National Forests have implemented a forest closure area intended to reduce traffic on roads used by firefighters and protect the public from fires. To see the closure area, visit For more information, contact Malheur, 541-575-3000, or Wallowa-Whitman, 541-523-6391, officials.

For more information about the Rail Fire, call 541-446-3592.

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