Wildfire near Chiloquin reaches 75 pct. containment

Firefighters expect to finish task Friday

CHILOQUIN, Ore. - (Update: No growth in fire, 75 percent containment)

Firefighters held the lines on the 405-acre, day-old Bray Mill Fire near Chiloquin and brought it to 75 percent containment by late Thursday. They expect to complete the task by midday Friday, Fremont-Winema National Forest officials said.

Originally, the goal was full containment of the Bray Mill Fire by Thursday night. But in an evening Facebook update, forest officials said the crews want to ensure their containment lines hold as they start working on mop-up.

"Area resdents may notice increased fire traffic on Sprague River Highway and Williamson River Road outside of Chiloquin as work continues," the update stated. "Public and firefighter safety continues to be the highest priority. Fire managers ask the public to avoid the area as firefighting operations continue."

The Bray Mill Fire was reported around 3 p.m. Wednesday on Forest Service land about 4 miles northeast of Chiloquin, officials said.

"Firefighters made great progress last night and this morning!" the forest said in a midday Thursday update. 

Crews continued working the fire after nightfall, including the Winema and Lakeview Interagency Hotshots, four engines, two bulldozers and a water tender. Also involved were engines from the Oregon Department of Forestry and Chiloquin Rural Fire protection District.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, but forest officials said it's not associated with a prescribed burn that took place about four miles away last week.

Officials warned that with snow melting and fuels drying, the risk of wildfire is rising and urged forest visitors "to be careful with fire and anything that can throw a spark." Make sure campfires aren't left unattended and are "dead out' before leaving.

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