Wildfires burn 20,000 acres west of Lake Owyhee

Credit: Paul Boehlke/ KTVB

Wildfires burn 20,000 acres west of Lake Owyhee

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by KTVB.COM

KTVB.COM

Posted on June 12, 2013 at 11:40 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 13 at 7:04 PM

Wildfires near Crowley, Oregon

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VALE, Ore. -- Officials with the Bureau of Land Management say two large wildfires burning about 25 miles west of the Owyhee Reservoir in eastern Oregon should be contained sometime Thursday.

A BLM update on Thursday afternoon indicated fire crews made "excellent progress" fighting the fires throughout Wednesday.

That's welcome news for at least three large ranches threatened by the flames.

The Crowley Creek and Stockade fires have burned through nearly 20,000 acres of desert range land near Stockade Mountain, which is about 35 miles northwest of Jordan Valley, Oregon.

The Crowley Creek Fire has burned 12,935 acres. The Stockade Fire has burned 6,613 acres. Both fires are at 60 percent containment.

The fires are burning within miles of each other, and were caused by lightning strikes, according to Mark Wilkening, with the Bureau of Land Management Vale District.

Dozens of firefighters are working to contain the fires by ground, along with air support, including three helicopters, and three single-engine air tankers working out of the Ontario Airport.

More than 30 engines, 7 hand crews, and 7 bulldozers are on the fire.

BLM says electrical transmission lines along Crowley Road could be damaged due to the fire, however the power poles are still intact.

Officials say the fire is threatening three ranches and numerous outbuildings in the area, but none have been damaged yet.

Wilkening says dry conditions have created hardships for firefighters and helicopter crews trying to find water to extinguish flames.

"It's going to be an issue all year," Wilkening said.

Last year the historic Long Draw Fire burned more than 500,000 acres in eastern Oregon and northern Nevada. It was the biggest wildfire in Oregon State history.
 

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