Pacific Northwest wildfire risk rises in latest forecast

The W-470 fire, caused by an escaped US Forest Service-mandated fire, is smaller than previously thought and appears to be slowing down.

A wildfire started by a US Forest Service-mandated burn in the McKenzie Bridge area earlier this week is smaller than previously thought and may be nearing the end. According to the latest forecasts released on Thursday, the risk of fire appears to be increasing in the Pacific Northwest, and in Washington in particular.

The W-470 fire started during what was intended to be a controlled burn to reduce fuel consumption in the McKenzie Bridge area near Eugene. But high winds caused the fire to escape and spiral into an uncontrolled conflagration originally estimated at 120 to 150 acres.

The federal agency said Thursday that the total burn area was actually 72 acres — 50 acres of which were part of the originally mandated fire plan. Around 100 firefighters and two top squads are working today to establish a containment line around the blaze, a morning report said.


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