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A firefighter on the front lines of the Klondike fire Oct. 18.

Klondike spot fires contained

Spot fires that occurred early last week when the Klondike fire flared up during a round of gusty winds have been contained, fire officials said.

A dozen or so spot fires, including a large one near Nancy Creek that firefighters have named the “Big Spot,” tacked on about 5,000 acres to the fire’s size, according to fire public information officer Deb MacLean.

The fire has been burning west of Grants Pass since July 15 following a lightning storm that ignited numerous fires across southwest Oregon.

“Most of those spot fires were really small. That’s why we’re calling the big one the Big Spot,” MacLean said.

On Friday, the fire was listed at 174,446 acres, but it saw “minimal” growth Thursday night, according to a news release. The fire is considered 75 percent contained, and 512 personnel, including nine hand crews, 18 engines, three bulldozers, 19 water tenders and three helicopters, remain on the front lines.

Crews plan to continue their push into the interior, mopping up hot spots 200 feet and father inside the perimeter.

“Resources have started to be released from the incident due to the increase in containment,” the release said.

Recent cool, wet weather has helped calm the flames, which saw a brief rekindling Sunday and Monday, Oct. 14-15, due to gusty winds and drier conditions on the fire. “Abundant” moisture and low-hanging clouds are expected over the fire into Saturday, with the possibility of additional light rain and gusty winds Saturday evening.

An estimate for full containment is still undetermined.

“We still have a ways to go,” MacLean said. “We’re not there yet.”

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com.

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