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Estimated size of Bruler Fire increases, though crews have established perimeter
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Estimated size of Bruler Fire increases, though crews have established perimeter

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Bruler Fire

Here is an aerial shot of the Bruler Fire taken the week it was discovered in the Willamette National Forest.

The estimated size of the Bruler Fire burning near Green Peter Reservoir has been increased, but U.S. Forest Service officials say that this is due to better infrared mapping, not fire growth. An update on Thursday states that crews have successfully kept the fire burning in within the established perimeter.

“The Bruler Fire is now estimated to be 155 acres; however, this does not represent growth within the fire perimeter since yesterday,” said a release from the Sweet Home Ranger Station. “The increase in size is due to better mapping in the rugged terrain from an infrared areal flight.”

The fire was previously estimated to be around 90 acres on Tuesday.

The release states that firefighters were able to take advantage of favorable weather conditions, including light winds and low temperatures in order to expand or complete containment lines all around the fire’s perimeter. Crews have been targeting smoldering tree snags and Thursday’s efforts will focus primarily on identifying areas to lay hose lines down for targeted attacking of the fire and quick response to its potential spread.

According the InciWeb Incident Information software found online, 168 personnel are assigned to this fire. Those include hand crews, dozers, fire engines and a Type-2 helicopter assisting with aerial dumps and surveillance.

“We’re working to increase the probability that the Bruler Fire stays within its current footprint during this critical timeframe,” said Incident Commander Brian Gales in the press release. “I want to thank the public for their support of the firefighters in the community.” 

Air quality around Sweet Home and Detroit, two communities on either side of the fire, remains “good.” Winds from the southwest are keeping the smoke from the Bruler Fire and other wildfires in Oregon to the east.

Mop up of the fire is expected to last for much of the rest of the summer, meaning closures may persist. Currently, the closure encompasses portions of the Forest Service lands south of Detroit Lake, west of Highway 22 and north of Highway 20. It includes the Middle Santiam Wilderness, Daly Lake, Tule Lake and the Old Cascade Crest trail system. Further information about fire closures can be found on the Willamette National Forest website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/willamette/alerts-notices/?aid=67404.

Troy Shinn covers healthcare, natural resources and the Linn County government. He can be reached at 541-812-6114 or troy.shinn@lee.net. He can be found on Twitter at @troydshinn. 

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