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Crews make progress on wildfires

Sun., July 15, 2012

On Saturday wildfires in Oregon, Idaho and Montana were mostly contained.

Firefighters were making progress on two large wildfires near Oregon’s borders with Nevada and Idaho, officials said Saturday.

Homes threatened by the Miller Homestead fire had been protected and the threat to the community of Frenchglen and the residents near Harney Lake had decreased, officials said. The 250-square-mile fire was 25 percent contained.

Meanwhile, the 920-square-mile Long Draw fire – Oregon state’s largest wildfire in more than a century – was 80 percent contained.

Winds pushed that fire south and east through the parched grass and sagebrush. Firefighters worked Saturday to hold the flames to the west side of Owyhee Canyon. The fire has killed cattle, burned range buildings and scorched the grass needed to feed animals.

In southern Idaho half a dozen wildfires were under control Saturday but officials were concerned about thunderstorms with lightning that were expected to move through the area late in the day.

Fire spokesman Dave Olson said the 110-acre C Fire burning 12 miles east of Donelly was expected to be contained late Saturday.

Seven firefighters working the Taylor Creek Fire in southeastern Montana received medical treatment after trying to mop up a hot spot that turned out to be a surface coal seam.

Officials said the firefighters on Friday suffered nausea due to exposure to sulfur dioxide and were taken to the Ashland Clinic where they were treated and released, returning to duty the same day.

The Taylor Creek Fire on Saturday had consumed about 508 square miles. The five fires in the complex were listed Saturday as 100 percent contained.


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