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In brief: Sisters air quality deemed hazardous

PORTLAND – A wildfire burning in Central Oregon is affecting the air quality in the Portland area.

Department of Environmental Quality monitors in the Willamette Valley show moderately smoky conditions. Agency spokesman William Knight told the Oregonian that cyclists should stay hydrated and avoid overly strenuous rides. Runners should also take precautions.

The Pole Creek fire southwest of Sisters has burned 17,500 acres since igniting Sept. 9. It is 15 percent contained.

Firefighters reinforced containment lines Tuesday to keep the fire from spreading.

More than 1,200 firefighters and support personnel are battling the blaze with about 150 homes under an evacuation alert.

The air quality in Sisters is hazardous. The American Red Cross has set up a shelter in the Sisters Elementary School for those with breathing problems.

Fire destroys $2 million hop shed

WILDER, Idaho – Fire officials in Wilder are puzzling over the cause of a fire that destroyed an estimated $2 million worth of hops and machinery used to dry the pine-cone-like flowers.

The fire Sunday night ignited in one of several hop driers in a barn outside the southwest Idaho city.

Wilder Fire Chief Doug Amick said the fire spread quickly and forced firefighters to focus on keeping the flames from spreading to other structures.

Hops grow all across southwestern Idaho and are a key ingredient in the brewing of beer, lending bitterness and aromatic qualities.

Amick declined to identify the farmer suffering the loss or the brewing company who had contracted for the hops.

Four Seaside buildings damaged

SEASIDE, Ore. – A fire in downtown Seaside damaged four buildings and sent one person to the hospital.

Police Chief Bob Gross told the Daily Astorian newspaper that the fire started Tuesday morning at a former laundromat and then spread.

Seaside crews were joined by firefighters from Cannon Beach, Gearhart and Warrenton. They contained the blaze by late morning.

One person was taken to Providence Seaside Hospital for an injury that is believed to be minor.

Investigators have yet to say what caused the fire.


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