SISTERS, Ore. -- Community members in the Sisters area hoped to ease the burden a bit and let firefighters know they're appreciated Saturday morning, when they donated homemade cookies and brand-new socks to crews battling the Pole Creek Fire.
Firefighters have been battling the blaze for two weeks, after lightning caused nearly 80 wildfires in the Northwest on September 8th and 9th. Crews completed contingency lines and were mopping up fire lines this weekend, Incident Commander Brian Watts said Saturday morning.
Background: More than 80 wildfires burning in Ore. and Wash.
More than 1,000 people were working on the fire without much relief in sight, but Watts said the cookies and socks were a bright spot in the battle.
"Firefighters were very appreciative of the generosity of the residents here in Sisters," he said.
The Pole Creek Fire and others in the region will likely continue pouring smoke into the Willamette Valley and throughout parts of eastern and central Oregon until the flames are snuffed out by precipitation, according to the Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality.
The fire was estimated at 40 square miles and spreading in the Three Sisters Wilderness area this weekend. The Bend Bulletin reported firefighters told residents Thursday night that they expect to keep the Pole Creek blaze away from populated areas. But morning smoke is common in the town of 2,000, prompting health advisories.
The blaze was expected to burn until autumn rains extinguish it, but there was no moisture in the forecast for the coming week. A National Weather Service meteorologist said dry thunderstorms expected in the area could still worsen the conditions for firefighters.
In Washington, crews were preparing for two large wildfires to merge, as lightning storms were expected to hit the area over the weekend.
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