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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Fire blackens 3,300 acres

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Fire blackens 3,300 acres


S. John Collins / Baker City Herald One of several helicopters drops retardant on hot spots.
S. John Collins / Baker City Herald One of several helicopters drops retardant on hot spots.

By Jayson Jacoby

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The flames were moving so fast, Clay Gyllenberg said, that even with a bulldozer he couldn’t carve fire lines quickly enough to block the blaze.

“When the wind gusts came up it moved at such a high speed,” Gyllenberg, of Baker City, said this morning.

The terrain through which the Radio Tower fire burned Thursday, in the sagebrush rangelands north of Interstate 84 about four miles southeast of Baker City, wasn’t conducive to rapid firefighting, either, Gyllenberg said.

“It’s extremely rocky,” he said. “You can’t even get through with a cat (bulldozer) in some places.”

Although the fire wasn’t officially contained this morning, Carolyn Chad, a spokeswoman at the BLM’s Vale District, said “we believe we have it corralled.”

The smoke plume that dominated the southeast skyline from Baker City most of Thursday had dissipated by about 5:30 p.m.

See more in Friday's issue of the Baker City Herald. 

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