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Willowcreek Fire 75% contained, crews begin patrol and mop up

The fire north of Vale, Oregon, has burned more than 40,000 acres.

ONTARIO, Ore. —

Crews fighting a wildfire in Malheur County are expected to wrap up direct attack suppression Friday and move into "patrol and monitor status," the Bureau of Land Management said Friday morning.

The Willowcreek Fire was first reported Tuesday afternoon north of Vale. It started on private land and spread to public land managed by the BLM. The fire is burning in grass and sagebrush. Smoke from the fire was noticeable in much of southwestern Idaho on Wednesday.

The fire was 75% contained Friday morning, and had burned a total of 40,274 acres.

"If conditions stay the same today, we'll be looking at a patrol-and-monitor status," said Vale BLM Fire Duty Officer Justin Fenton. "Saturday we'll transition to a Type 4 Incident Command."

Fenton also said that although warm, dry weather conditions are expected to remain Friday and Saturday, lower temperatures and higher humidity forecast for Sunday and Monday will help the firefighters with mop-up.

The BLM said no injuries have been reported, the fire is not threatening any structures, and no evacuation orders were put in place. However, two grazing allotments were affected by the fire and possible restoration actions will be considered. A rehabilitation plan will be established in the coming weeks.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Vale BLM has increased the local fire danger from moderate to high due to the hotter, drier weather expected through Saturday. Fireworks are prohibited on all public lands in Oregon and Idaho. Also, to prevent wildfires, thoroughly douse all fires with water and make sure they're completely out before you leave your campsite.

This is an ongoing incident, check back for updates.

Smoke from a wildfire west of Ontario, OR, is spreading across the Treasure Valley this morning, drawn by breezy westerly winds behind a week cool front that moved through this morning. Cooler today then warming for the weekend. www.ktvb.com/weather #idwx

Posted by KTVB on Wednesday, June 29, 2022

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