Winds Drive Columbia Gorge Fire, Thunderstorms Prompt Vigilance in Southern Oregon

By Jim McCoy Thu 22nd August NewsGovernment Flat Complexthnderstormswildfires
Firefighters are bracing for more strong winds driving a Columbia Gorge wildfire into the Mount Hood National Forest. The Blackburn fire, part of the Government Flat complex burning 10 miles southwest of The Dalles, remained at 15 percent containment on Thursday after growing to 17 square miles and burning a fourth house on Wednesday. The Oregon Department of Forestry says firefighters are holding the lines on the north, south and east flanks, but strong afternoon winds are expected to keep pushing the fire forward on the west side, where it is on the Mount Hood National Forest. Meanwhile, thunderstorms moved into southwestern Oregon this morning, bringing rain and lightning. There was no immediate word on what that means for the fires burning there. According a Mail Tribune report, 20 strikes were recorded as of mid-morning, but only one small fire had started as a result. The fire outside of Butte Falls was quickly doused.

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