Wildfire scorches more than 80 square miles in SE Oregon

The area is sparsely populated

A tanker drops water at the Burnt Peak Fire in Oregon, July 29, 2017 (State of Oregon)
A tanker drops water at the Burnt Peak Fire in Oregon, July 29, 2017 (State of Oregon)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A wildfire has charred more than 80 square miles of grass and juniper in sparsely populated southeast Oregon.

The Cinder Butte fire began Wednesday afternoon and quickly spread. Fire officials said it was about 10 percent contained Friday afternoon.

The blaze started by humans is by far the largest fire burning in what’s traditionally the peak month of Oregon’s annual wildfire season.

A blaze east of Salem in the Jefferson Wilderness has prompted hiker evacuations and road and trail closures. A wildfire spreading toward the rim of the caldera at Crater Lake National Park led officials to close the West Rim Road and additional trails.

A prolonged heatwave has primed the state for more wildfires.