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40,000-acre Willowcreek Fire near Vale holding at 75 percent containment

A day after smoke from the Willowcreek Fire closed a stretch of Interstate 84, the flames reached but did not cross the freeway at one point
Vale District BLM
A day after smoke from the Willowcreek Fire closed a stretch of Interstate 84, the flames reached but did not cross the freeway at one point

(Update: Final, Friday morning update)

VALE, Ore. (KTVZ) – Containment lines are holding well, and Vale Bureau of Land Management fire officials expect to wrap up direct attack suppression work Friday, officials said. 

“If conditions stay the same today, we’ll be looking at a patrol and monitor status,” Vale BLM Fire Duty Officer Justin Fenton said. “Saturday, we’ll transition to a Type 4 Incident Command.” 

Depending on size and complexity – terrain, weather conditions and other factors –wildfires are classified on a scale of 5 to 1, with 5 being initial attack and 1 being the most challenging. 

Although it will remain warm and dry Friday and Saturday, temperatures will begin to drop Sunday and humidity will increase. “That will help the firefighters with mop-up,” Fenton said. 

Containment remained at 75 percent Friday morning, with a total acreage of 40,274 acres. The fire is burning in grass and sagebrush on public and private land.  

The fire was reported on private land Tuesday afternoon, then crossed onto lands managed by Vale BLM. The cause is under investigation.  

This will be the final update for the Willowcreek Fire, BLM officials said.

"Whether celebrating on on public lands or private, Vale BLM wishes everyone a safe and happy Independence Day weekend. Thoroughly douse all fires and remember fireworks are prohibited on public lands," the agency said. 

Article Topic Follows: Fire Alert

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