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Firefighters encircle escaped burn in Maury Mountains

1,700 acres, 25 pct. contained; closure in place

PRINEVILLE, Ore. -  Firefighters worked through the night to complete burnout operations and strengthen containment lines around a prescribed burn that escaped and sparked a wildfire near Elkhorn Campground in the Maury Mountains, officials said Saturday.

Crews have surrounded the entire fire with dozer and hand line and will continue burnout operations Saturday.

The fire size is currently estimated at 1,700 acres and 25 percent containment, with roughly 200 acres located on adjacent ranch land.

The firefighting response has been a cooperative effort between the US Forest Service, BLM, Oregon Department of Forestry, the Post-Paulina Rangeland Protection Association and the private land owners. Numerous crews, engines, and dozers remain on scene, in addition to aerial support.

The fire began as a prescribed burn conducted to improve range and forest health within a 333-acre unit on the Ochoco National Forest.

An unexpected wind event associated with storm movement from the south created an unforeseen wind reversal Thursday afternoon, pushing fire north across planned containment lines and creating a wildfire, officials said.

The Ochoco National Forest has issued a temporary area closure to prevent hunters and other visitors from entering the fire suppression area.

View the order and closure map here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/ochoco/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD519937


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