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Puzzle Fire's growth minimal on Friday.

Byline: From Register-Guard and news service reports

Crews fighting the Puzzle Fire have established an anchor point to fight the blaze, which had little growth on Friday.

The firefighters' foothold on Bingham Ridge, on the northwest corner of the fire, will limit the fire's potential growth and help better protect homes in the Marion Forks area, fire officials said. The fire is about five miles east of Marion Forks, and north of Santiam Junction.

Crews again took advantage of favorable weather Friday to attack the fire, which stands at 5,162 acres, up from 5,145 acres Thursday.

The fire is part of the Cascade Complex, which has burned 20,096 acres with the Black Crater and Lake George fires.

The Black Crater Fire is fully contained, while the Lake George Fire did not grow beyond its perimeter on Friday.

The Puzzle Fire's only growth has been to its west and south in recent days. Though the fire has yet to be contained, fire officials expect little to no growth today.

In Eastern Oregon, firefighters said they were gaining ground on more than 100,000 acres of blazes in a sparsely populated area.

Harney County Sheriff David Glerup said two ranchers, father and son Dwight Hammond, 63, and Steven Hammond, 37, were arrested Thursday and accused of setting fires.

They are charged with misdemeanor counts of reckless burning and reckless endangerment and a felony count of criminal mischief, he said.

Glerup said he couldn't provide information about their motives, but he said the major wildfires were under way before the fires were set.

Susan Hammond said Friday that the charges against her husband and son are false. She said the family's nearly 13,000-acre ranch is encircled by federal land and the family has tried for years to cooperatively manage the land about 50 miles south of Burns.

But Hammond said the government has been difficult to work with and said she hesitated to say more.

In southeastern Washington, a DC-10 jetliner capable of dropping as much as eight times more fire retardant than usual air tankers was used for the first time Friday after smoke cleared above the 66,000-acre - 103-square-mile - Columbia Complex of fires near Dayton. Thousands of firefighters are battling a handful of large wildfires there.
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Title Annotation:Fires
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Aug 26, 2006
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