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Highway to Burns closed by slides east of Juntura, state agency reports

The highway between Vale and Burns is closed after several slides hit U.S. Highway 20 on Sunday night, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.

The slides are about 12 miles east of Juntura, between mileposts 202 and 203.

“There are multiple slide areas along a mile stretch of highway. Rock, mud and other debris are blocking the route, completely covering the highway with more than a half-dozen feet of debris in some areas. Power and other utility lines are down,” the Transportation Department said in a statement Monday. “Due to down power/utility lines and untable slopes it is not safe.”

The agency said “this is expected to be a lengthy closure of several days or more.”

The highway is closed at Harper, at milepost 223, and at Juntura, at milepost 189.

The agency said that “other routes may be impacted with similar conditions.”

The alternate routes would involve traveling on U.S. 26 to John Day and then south to Burns or via U.S. 95 through Jordan Valley to Burns Junction and then on Oregon Highway 78 to Burns.

This is a developing story.

Crews work to clear slide debris from U.S. Highway 20 about 12 miles east of Juntura. (Oregon Department of Transportation)

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