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Fire burns 56K+ acres, impacts Hwy 20 between Bend and Burns

A fire closed Highway 20 near the Lake and Harney county line on Wednesday. The highway connects Bend with Burns in Oregon's high desert. (Harney County Sheriff's Office photo)

BEND, Ore. - A pilot car guided travelers through a wildfire in a sparsely populated part of Oregon as firefighters in aircraft and on the ground fought a fast-moving range fire Wednesday.

The fire grew to an estimated 5,000 acres.

The high was closed for a period of time, and the situation could change.

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"Heavy" air tankers resemble - and sometimes are - passenger jets retrofitted to fight fires.

Single engine tankers - called "SEATs" for short - resemble crop dusters dumping red fire retardant in focused streams.

Firefighting Aircraft at Work

By Thursday, the blaze - dubbed the Cinder Butte Fire - had burned 56,000 acres.


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