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Grizzly Creek fire gets crews from South Obenchain blaze

As fire crews make progress on the South Obenchain fire, some resources and personnel are heading back to work on the 325-acre Grizzly Creek fire near Howard Prairie Lake, which was 80% contained Monday.

The Grizzly Creek fire started Sept. 4, and Oregon Department of Forestry crews responded aggressively, sending eight helicopters, three air tankers, six engines, two water tenders, two dozers and three hand crews. Four days later, the Almeda fire broke out, and the South Obenchain blaze started the same day.

The South Obenchain fire, which was at nearly 33,000 acres and 65 percent containment Monday, has destroyed at least 32 homes and 56 other structures.

“These other fires broke out and just took precedent,” said ODF spokesperson Natalie Weber. “A lot of the resources were pulled from the Grizzly Creek fire to go to the other ones. They’ve just been chugging along with limited resources, doing the work with only a couple people rather than what we would typically put on that fire, so it’s been a little slow-going just because of that reason.”

But crews are on the home stretch of the Grizzly Creek blaze, Weber added. Level 2 and 3 evacuations that were issued around the fire area have been lifted, and roads have reopened.

Reach Mail Tribune web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com.

The Grizzly Creek fire started Sept. 4, in the area of Dead Indian Memorial Road and Keno Access Road. Photo from Vesper Meadow Facebook page