In the community

Fire crews make progress running down Willowcreek Fire

WILLOWCREEK – Fire crews on Wednesday had about half the Willowcreek Fire contained as the fire burned east to Interstate 84.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management said in an update issued Wednesday, June 29, that the fire had covered 42,128 acres of grass and rangeland and was about 45% contained.

The fire started on private land near Willowcreek just before 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 28, and quickly spread, driven by high winds and high temperatures. Fire officials said no homes or other structures have been lost and there were no injuries among fire crews.

“We did some strategic ignitions between dozer lines and the fire which increased containment,” said Jonathan Dunbar, Vale BLM deputy fire management officer. “The lines to the north are holding and we’ll continue to patrol and monitor tonight.” 

About 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, the fire reached the west side of freeway but didn’t cross, the BLM said. The freeway remained open.

The agency said a large internal island burned Wednesday, generating highly visible smoke.

Firefighters assigned to the fire came from BLM, the Burnt River and Vale Rangeland Fire Protection Associations, Vale Rural Fire Department, Oregon State Fire Marshal, U.S. Forest Service and contract equipment operators.

Air tankers and helicopters also were used, the BLM said.


Wildfire burns 40,000 acres near Willowcreek, freeway reopens