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Elevated temps will push Horse Prairie Fire control efforts to the limit, officials say

Horse Prairie Fire, September 1, 2017. (via Horse Prairie Fire Incident Command)

CAMAS VALLEY, Ore. -- The weather continues to be the top story regarding the Horse Prairie and 14 other large wildfires currently burning in Oregon, the Horse prairie fire Incident Command said Friday morning.

Elevated temperatures and winds out of the northeast will once again push fire control efforts to the limit. The area remains under a “Red Flag Warning” that is expected to last through 8 p.m.

Northeast winds are very similar to California’s Santa Annas that are known for fueling large fires. Coming out of the east, and unlike cooler winds off the Pacific Ocean, east winds coming over the Cascade Mountain Range are much warmer and dryer. These winds are expected to persist through Friday. Winds are expected to moderate over the weekend, but will be replaced by 100-plus degree temperatures.

Firefighters will continue to focus much of their efforts south of Cow Creek where the fire is most active. They are also improving road systems and ridge tops with hand and dozer lines as they prepare to burn out small pockets of forest fuels to reduce the fire’s momentum.

The fire is estimated at 11,500 acres and 15 percent contained. The fire remains well west of the town of Riddle and continues to move away from communities.

A Level 3 evacuation notification remains in effect for Lower Cow Creek Road from the end of County Maintenance to Union Creek, including residents living on Doe Creek Road. The local fire departments have posted a fire engine at all nine affected homes in the evacuation area.

Road and area closures also remain in effect in and around the fire area. The public is asked to stay clear of the area for their safety as well as the safety of firefighters.

For updates visit Facebook.com/horseprairiefire.

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