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Crews Battle Small Lightning Sparked Blazes Near Oakridge


Crews are using a firm hand to keep a pair of small wildfires in the Willamette National Forest southeast of Oakridge from growing. The Staley Complex is just over 100 acres but it's in steep, rugged terrain which is hard for firefighters to access. Fire spokesman Peter Frenzen says the blazes were sparked by lightning.

Frenzen: "Over the last 5 days we've had over 700 lightning strikes on the Middle Fork District and the forces attached to this incident have responded to and extinguished 28 lightning fires, of which 2 now are the main focus, which is the Staley and the Daisy Fires."

Thursday, a National Weather Service meteorologist will launch a weather balloon to monitor the atmosphere around the fire. This will help crews plan burn-out operations around wind conditions to minimize the impact of smoke on the nearby community of Oakridge.

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