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Weather helps firefighting crews at Middle Fork Complex near Oakridge

Crews roll hose used to fight the Middle Fork Complex near Oakridge, Oregon, on Sept. 18, 2021.
Crews roll hose used to fight the Middle Fork Complex near Oakridge, Oregon, on Sept. 18, 2021.

Fire season still isn’t over, but there’s some relief for people living in the Oakridge area, roughly 40 miles east of Eugene. Crews say they’ve got a good handle on the Middle Fork Complex of wildfires.

Milder weather has helped to minimize fire growth, and initial lines around the 30,000-acre complex are holding steady.

But Madeline Herrmann with the U. S Forest Service said that, even after firefighters fully contain the complex, those fires will still smolder for months.

“Rain has come and that has helped us so much, and the snow will come and help us a little bit more,” Hermann said. “But into the spring we often do see smokes come up from old holdover fires.”

Still, she said, fire danger in the Willamette National Forest has been lowered to “moderate.” And after this weekend, all fire restrictions there will be rescinded.

Hermann also said that air quality is good from Oakridge to Bend and Eugene, and much of the smoke generated by the Middle Fork Complex should stay within the fire perimeter from here on out.

Copyright 2021 Oregon Public Broadcasting