Baldy fire

The Baldy fire burning Tuesday afternoon in southern Baker County.

A wildfire that started Monday evening near the Baker/Malheur county border north of Ironside is growing this afternoon, producing a towering smoke plume.

Al Crouch, fire mitigation/education specialist for the Bureau of Land Management’s Vale District, said additional firefighters, including aircraft and ground-based crews, are en route to help those already working on the blaze, which is burning in sagebrush and grass.

The fire was estimated at 475 acres earlier today but Crouch said it has grown beyond that.

The fire started near Baldy Mountain, about a mile and a half south of the county border, but it has burned north and crossed into Baker County.

Larisa Bogardus, public affairs officer for the BLM's Vale District, said the fire has two main areas that are advancing, one toward the northwest, the other toward the northeast.

The fire is about 10 air miles southeast of Hereford, 6 miles southwest of Bridgeport, and about 4 miles south of the junction of Highway 245 and the Burnt River Canyon Road. That junction is about 20 air miles due south of Baker City.

Suzan Ellis Jones, who lives east of Bridgeport, said strong winds are blowing in that area, and smoke is settling in the Burnt River Valley. Jones said at least one rancher is moving cattle that were grazing in the area.

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