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Puzzle Fire confounds crews' efforts to contain it.

Byline: From Register-Guard and news service reports

The Puzzle Fire had yet to be contained Thursday, burning 5,145 acres after being reported Saturday at 30 acres.

The other fires that make up the Cascade Complex along with the Puzzle Fire - the Black Crater and Lake George fires - remained in check. The three fires have burned 20,079 acres in Central Oregon, west of Sisters.

Fire crews have taken advantage of favorable weather to continue their attack on the Puzzle Fire's west side in an effort to protect homes and other buildings near Marion Forks and to reduce the fire's potential acreage. The fire is five miles east of Marion Forks, north of Santiam Junction. Fire officials expect this blaze to slowly move to the west and south.

The cost to fight the Puzzle Fire has reached $570,500. Its cause is under investigation. Trails and other recreational sites in the area near the fire remain closed.

To the north, the Mount Hood Complex Fire, made up of the Bluegrass Fire on the west side of Highway 35 and the Gumjuwac Fire to the highway's east, continues to slow. The fires are 50 percent contained, with an estimated containment date of Sept. 4. A pilot car will guide motorists through a segment of Highway 35 near White River. The highway will be closed intermittently. This complex has burned 1,859 acres.

In Eastern Oregon, firefighters said Thursday that the 40 mph winds that spread the fires quickly there the day before had abated. Tara Wilson, spokeswoman for firefighting agencies south of Burns, reported that major fires burned Thursday on more than 100,000 acres of high desert in Harney County.
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Title Annotation:Fires
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Aug 25, 2006
Previous Article:FOR THE RECORD.
Next Article:OBITUARIES.

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