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Wildfire burns near Thurston.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Dozens of small fires continued to simmer in the Willamette National Forest on Thursday, but many are contained and the largest cover only a few acres, forest officials said Thursday.

Lightning from thunderstorms earlier in the week left a trail of more than 90 smoldering or blazing patches stretching across the national forest.

Smokejumpers and two interagency hot shot crews along with several engines and two helicopters are assigned to the firefighting effort. The Oregon Department of Forestry has pitched in and taken the lead on fighting some of the lightning fires.

Many of the fires on the McKenzie River and Middle Fork Ranger Districts have been contained, officials said Thursday.

More than 40 fires were found on the Detroit Ranger District. Some have been suppressed, but a number remain active, including four in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness. The largest fire on the district is about five miles south of Detroit Lake on Lucky Butte and is estimated at 6 acres. The Forest Service is hitting the Lucky Butte fire and surrounding trees and undergrowth with water bucket drops from helicopters.

The agency is scooping the water from the Kinney arm of Detroit Lake, and has closed the Kinney arm area to campers and boaters during helicopter operations.

Firefighters on the Sweet Home Ranger District are attacking several small fires near Echo Mountain and the Three Pyramids.

More small hot spots created by the lightning strikes may still flare up given the dry conditions this time of year, officials said.
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Title Annotation:City/Region; Crews get the jump on lightning-caused fires across the Willamette National Forest
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Aug 20, 2010
Words:253
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