Northwest Crews Continue To Battle Many Large Fires

Jul 17, 2014
Originally published on July 17, 2014 5:17 pm

The next few days will be critical for crews battling more than a dozen wildfires in the Northwest. Forecasters have issued a Red Flag Warning for a large swath of eastern Oregon and Washington.

A Red Flag Warning indicates a combination of high winds, low humidity and dry conditions. That means existing blazes are expected to spread.

Several highways have been closed and homes evacuated near the central Washington city of Leavenworth. In central Oregon, a section of the Deschutes River that's popular with rafters has been closed due to a fire in that area. National Guard crews have been helping battle the flames in Washington and are expected to be called upon in Oregon.

Rod Nichols with the Oregon Department of Forestry said National Guard helicopters have many uses.

"Such as actual direct fire fighting with water buckets and also medevac type situations, if they need to take a fire-fighter that's been injured out of a hard-to-reach place," he said.

There is some good news on the horizon. A cooling trend is expected in the region this weekend.

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