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Waterfalls 2 Fire grows to over 12,000 acres

Fighting fire with fire

by: Photo by Gary Sampson Jr. - Fire officials burned out a timbered area on the Waterfalls 2 Fire, located about five miles northeast of Mount Jefferson over the weekend. The fire, which has burned over 12,000 acres, was about 50 percent contained on Tuesday.

The Waterfalls 2 Fire, burning on the southwest corner of the Warm Spring Indian Reservation, has consumed over 12,000 acres as of Tuesday.
   However, the blaze is expected to be contained soon, with fire line construction projected to have been completed Tuesday evening.
   The fire, which ignited by lightning Aug. 4, doubled in size in the past week, but as of Tuesday morning was more than 50 percent contained.
   According to the incident command center report, mop-up operations will be in full force through the next few days, and hopefully completed by the end of the week.
   As of Tuesday morning, 892 personnel were on the blaze, including fresh crews from the eastern and southeastern parts of the country.
   The fire started about five miles northeast of Mount Jefferson, 22 miles west of Warm Springs. It burned through steep terrain, through timber and hardwood slash. The blaze has filled the region with smoke for several days.
   On Saturday, a "slop out" fire got a bit out of control and and wasn't contained until Monday.
   Most of the work requiring heavy equipment has ceased and those crews are being demobilized. Current plans calls for mop-up operations to be completed by the end of the week. Crews will then grid for hotspots and mop up any remaining fire within 300 feet of all containment lines and 100 percent mop-up all spot fires.
   Cooler weather is expected in the area midweek, which should help subdue the fire. However, winds associated with the weather change -- expected to reach 40 miles per hour -- may test fire lines.
   The Pacific Crest Trail had been opened to through hikers, but camping in the region was still prohibited.
   For information on these and other closures, check the Incident Command website at www.inciweb.org/incident/3165.