Fire crews in short supply

By Jayson Jacoby, The Baker City Herald

And with widespread lightning forecast this week, more blazes are likely

By Jayson Jacoby

With a new 50-acre fire burning on the west side of the Elkhorns, and widespread thunderstorms forecast to batter the region with lightning, firefighters are bracing for a hectic week.

And for the possibility that there won't be enough crews to handle every new blaze.

With more than a dozen major fires burning in several western states, most fire crews are already spoken for.

Fortunately a veritable armada of aerial firefighting machines was available Sunday afternoon when a fire broke out on Badger Butte, near the Elkhorn Drive Scenic Byway about four miles southwest of Anthony Lakes.

The Badger Butte 2 fire burned about 50 acres, said Willy Crippen, fire management officer for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest's Burnt-Powder Fire Zone.

The blaze is separate from another fire, also near Badger Butte, that was reported Aug. 2 and contained two days later, Crippen said.

The new Badger Butte fire, the cause of which hasn't been determined, is burning in subalpine fir, a tree that burns especially hot and poses a particular challenge for firefighters, Crippen said.

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

The Baker City Herald
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