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Fire near John Day River 25 percent contained


(Update: Fire lines hold; 25 percent containment)

About 100 firefighters from Wheeler County, the BLM and Forest Service held and improved containment lines Sunday on a fire that broke out Saturday east of the John Day River, officials said.

The Porcupine II Fire did not grow from the mapped 527 acres and was 25 percent contained by Sunday evening, officials said.

Crews will continue to mop up the fire and monitor interior pockets of unburned fuel, they said.

Cooler overnight temperatures helped fire crews get a handle on the fire, which broke out Saturday near state Highway 218, about nine miles east of the John Day River.

Central Oregon fire managers were working in unified command with Wheeler County on the blaze, reported shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday on the south side of state Highway 218, near milepost 34.

It burned in light fuel on steep slopes in inaccessible terrain, with winds also challenging firefighter efforts, BLM spokeswoman Lisa Clark said.

On the fire by late Saturday afternoon were seven engines, two crews, a bulldozer, two single-engine air tankers and a Type 2 helicopter, with another Type 2 and a Type 1 on order, CBlark said

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