PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A large wildfire near John Day, Oregon, has jumped in size, and firefighters are concerned about explosive growth Thursday.
Infrared mapping Thursday morning showed the fire has burned 134 square miles – a 15 percent increase since Tuesday.
Local fire departments from around Grant County were pressed into duty Wednesday to protect scores of homes in the path of the fire.
The Oregonian reports that most crews were staffed by volunteers who worked through the night.
Local crews received some help late Wednesday when a task force of engines from agencies around Oregon arrived. The state fire marshal’s office ordered 15 engines and crews from Deschutes, Clackamas and Washington counties.
The Canyon Creek complex started as two smaller fires ignited by lightning Aug. 12. It has wrecked at least 39 homes and more than 50 barns, shops and other outbuildings.
Other fire information:
The Bureau of Land Management in Oregon said Thursday there are 23 large fires burning in the Northwest, covering 1,205,000 acres. The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center provided the map below of the large fires in the region.
Gov. Jay Inslee is heading to the fire lines to thank crews battling the huge blazes that have burned in Washington state this year.
Speaking in Chelan Thursday before travelling to meet firefighters, Inslee said the crews from Washington, other states and abroad are “exhausted” but “so committed” to the work they are doing.
Major General Bret Daugherty, who commands the Washington National Guard, was travelling with Inslee. He said as of this week there were about 1,000 guard troops helping firefighting efforts, including 200 people on the fire lines. Daugherty says authorities hope better weather will aid efforts.
The numerous wildfires burning in Washington state cover about 1,144-square miles of land – an area nearly the size of Rhode Island.