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Fires near Crater Lake: 10,158 acres combined

The recent lightning storm barrage that pummeled much of southwest Oregon from late July into earlier this month caused more than 40 fires to erupt just west of Crater Lake.

Now, firefighters have that number down to seven, a conglomerate of flames that is being managed as one event called the High Cascades Complex. Combined, the fires have grown to 10,158 acres in size.

"We needed to be able to get a good handle on everything that was going on and coordinate the effort more clearly," said fire public information officer Greg Heule.

More than 1,200 personnel are still working toward full containment.

The majority of that acreage belongs to the Blanket Creek and Spruce Lake blazes, measured at about 5,223 and 4,885 acres, respectively, on Monday. Crews had the Blanket Creek fire, seven miles east of Prospect, 58 percent contained. The Spruce Lake fire, burning on the western edge of Crater Lake National Park, was 55 percent contained.

The Round Top and Needle fires, which account for 18 acres and started about six miles northwest of Prospect, are fully contained, as are the Butte and Silent fires — 7 acres total — which started five miles west of the junction of highways 230 and 138.

Multiple trail closures are still in effect, including the Pacific Crest Trail from Dutton Creek Trail to the North Entrance Road, and from Highway 62 to the park's southern boundary. The Boundary Springs, Bald Crater Loop, Bert Creek, Lightning Springs, Watchman, Union Peak, Stuart Falls and Pumice Flat trails are also closed.

The Flounce fire, burning 12 miles northeast of Shady Cove, has held at about 690 acres for several days, and crews have transitioned into the mop-up phase, with command transferring from a type 1 incident management team to a type 3 team mostly staffed with Oregon Department of Forestry personnel.

"It's down to the point where they're giving it back to us pretty much as a done deal," said ODF public information officer Melissa Cano.

The fire is 75 percent contained.

A majority of the smoke that has drifted back to the Rogue Valley following a clear Sunday is from the fires in northeast Jackson County, with little smoke drifting our way from Northern California blazes, the National Weather Service said.

"They're far enough away, and the smoke they're putting off is higher up in the atmosphere," meteorologist Misty Firmin said of the California fires.

— Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.

High Cascades Complex fires by Mail Tribune on Scribd



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Sunset provides a spectacular show for Spruce Lake fire crews eating dinner at the Broken Arrow fire camp Friday. [InciWeb photo]