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Herman Complex nears containment.

Byline: From Register-Guard and news service reports

COTTAGE GROVE - Firefighters made progress on a forest fire burning 25 miles east of Cottage Grove on Friday and expect containment this weekend.

The Herman Complex was 80 percent contained, and Umpqua National Forest officials expect the lightning-caused fire to burn a total of 40 acres in the steep and heavily timbered terrain. Complete containment is expected by Sunday, weather permitting.

Firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading onto private land and successfully protected the municipal watershed.

A number of roads and trails near the fire remain closed.

In addition to the fire, crews have had to battle poison oak and yellow jackets, fire officials said.

The cost of fighting the fire so far has reached $128,800.

Incident Commander Ken Gregor said fire crews were "doing an excellent job on very difficult terrain," and added that "air operations played a critical role" in containing the fire Friday.

In Central Oregon, the Lake George Fire has burned about 700 acres in the Mount Washington Wilderness, about 13 miles west of Sisters.

Crews were successful Friday at keeping the main, lightning-caused fire within the wilderness but are also building backup firelines outside its boundary.

Some fires did occur Friday to the south and southeast of the main blaze. The Lake George Fire is burning north of the Black Crater Fire and approximately three to four miles south of fire scars from the Cache Mountain and B&B fires.

About 140 firefighters are battling the fire, including nine engines, three tenders, four bulldozers, five air tankers and one helicopter.

Several trailheads and campgrounds in the area remain closed from the Black Crater Fire, and others have been added.

In Washington state, weather is helping fire crews rein in wildfires, including two that have consumed 78,504 acres in northcentral Washington's remote Chewuch Valley.

The Tripod and Spur Peak fires, which merged into one large blaze this week, were 20 percent trailed Friday, about the same as Thursday, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Robin DeMario said. A quarter-inch of rain Thursday helped, and cooler temperatures and higher humidity Friday were expected to damp down flames and aid line-construction efforts, she said.

The fires are in the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forest, with the northeast corner spread in the Loomis State Forest.

State Lands Commissioner Donald Sutherland flew over the fire Friday. ``Every now and then we saw a torch go up,'' he said of the fire's tremendous heat setting trees ablaze before flames had reached them.

He said the visit made him feel more comfortable about the fire crews' battle. ``They've got it figured out pretty good,'' he said. ``Obviously the weather's unpredictable.''

Forecasts call for more heat and more wind, Sutherland said.
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Title Annotation:Fires
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Aug 12, 2006
Words:459
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