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BLUE RIVER, Ore. – An overnight infrared flight of the Holiday Farm Fire revealed the new fire size at 170,637 acres, down by about 2,400 acres, due to better mapping. The fire is now 17% contained.
Firefighting personnel numbers are now at 985. Firefighting resources are beginning to grow as crews complete assignments in Oregon and other states, take a couple of days of rest, and then get reassigned to fires. Crews working the fire represent 18 states and three provinces from Canada. Just over 100 Canadian firefighters from British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta arrived and received a briefing from ODF’s Type 1 team Sunday afternoon and headed to the fire line Monday morning.
The National Guard is also assisting the firefighting effort with six 20-person crews working to improve fire containment lines on the west side of the fire. Firefighters are doing all they can to strengthen containment lines and begin mop-up operations in key areas ahead of another weather system moving in Wednesday that will bring elevated winds out of the southwest. Rain is also expected later in the day on Wednesday.
On Sunday, for the first time since the fire started, air support was used to fight the flames.
On Monday, the information team for the fire reported five firefighters have been injured.
We do not know the extent of their injuries or how they were injured.
It was also reported Monday that 431 residences and 24 non-residential structures have been destroyed in the blaze.
Clearer skies allowed five helicopters to do water drops on the northeast portion of the fire near and around HJ Andrews Experimental Forest.
That area of the fire was the primary focus for firefighters Sunday. However, the rain made it a challenge for firefighters. So far three have been injured because of the weather conditions. Officials at the Incident Command Post in Thurston said the injuries are not life threatening.
The Holiday Farm Fire’s footprint is currently estimated at 173,025 acres and containment is at 14%. The fire’s perimeter measures more than 260 miles.
Heavy mop-op operations are underway in several areas throughout the fire.
While the terrain, combined with the recent thunderstorm showers, has posed challenges for fire crews to gain direct access to the fire’s edge, they are taking advantage of the cooler weather Sunday to tighten up fire lines and keep the main fire from spreading much further.
Roads remain closed in the fire area and much of the Willamette National Forest and Northwest Oregon District BLM.
Wildland fire crews will continue working to improve and increase fire containment using hand crews, fire engines and heavy machinery.
Firefighters will be taking advantage of wet weather to clear roads in the Quartz Creek area and will continue to focus on Highway 126.
The plan for Sunday night is to continue to build strong fire lines and patrol for hot spots.