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Oregon firefighters try to solve Puzzle Fire.

Byline: From Register-Guard and news service reports

The Puzzle Fire continued to burn uncontained Wednesday afternoon in the Willamette National Forest, two miles north of Marion Lake

The fire, part of the Cascade Crest Complex, has burned 5,213 acres, up from 4,305 acres on Tuesday. This blaze is north of Santiam Junction, five miles east of Marion Forks.

Favorable weather conditions allowed hotshot crews to attack the west side of the fire. In addition, crews are constructing a fireline, part of which was used during the B&B Complex Fire, near Marion Lake.

Bulldozer lines are also being dug outside the Mount Jefferson Wilderness using old roads and firelines from the B&B fire.

The Lake George Fire, which also makes up the Cascade Complex Fire, along with the Black Crater Fire, is approximately 5,533 acres and is 80 percent contained.

Forest closures on the Deschutes and Willamette national forests remain in effect. Highway 22 remains open.

The Willamette National Forest has reopened all of the Waldo Lake Wilderness Area, which had been closed because of the Waldo Mountain Fire earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the state's largest wildfire was at 20,000 acres, or 31 square miles, Wednesday and threatened the town of Fields, population about 20, in the state's remote southeast corner.

There was no estimate for containment of the lightning-caused fire, which started Monday.

The area is largely in sagebrush and juniper, and fires in such unpopulated high desert areas are common. There were 14 fires reported Wednesday between the towns of Fields and Frenchglen.

Fire managers said some of the fires have merged, sending flames as high as 40 feet.

In all, some 90,000 acres have burned in largely uninhabited Harney County.
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Title Annotation:Fires
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Aug 24, 2006
Words:289
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