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Winds aid crews battling fire in Oregon

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By TIM FOUGHT
Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Firefighters usually dread winds, but crews trying to save rural dwellings in Oregon got a break when a spreading fire ran into breezes that pushed it the other way.

The wildfire near the ranching town Sprague River has claimed six houses in the southern portion of the state.

Fire spokeswoman Erica Hupp said Tuesday the flames began moving Monday, burning a swath half the length of a football field in an area where containment lines hadn't been dug.

Hupp says the winds gained the upper hand, though, and pushed the fire back on itself.

She says the flames were moving away from the Moccasin Hill subdivision where it broke out Sunday.

Hupp says progress has been made and many evacuated residents have gone home.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Firefighters have made some progress on a southern Oregon wildfire that destroyed six homes and 14 other buildings over the weekend.

More accurate mapping early Monday evening found the blaze burning near the ranching town of Sprague River, about 25 miles northeast of Klamath Falls, covers approximately 4 square miles, fire spokeswoman Erica Hupp said.

Officials said Tuesday containment was at 15 percent, and no additional structures have been damaged.

Elsewhere, firefighters seemed to be getting a handle on a large wildfire in central Washington, while a destructive fire in northern California was growing and threatening additional homes.

The Bully Fire around the rural community of Igo in Shasta County, California, was threatening 50 homes, up from 15 a day earlier, fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said. The fire that was sparked Friday by exhaust from a truck has burned about 10 square miles and is 20 percent contained.

It has destroyed eight homes and 10 other structures. Seven firefighters have suffered minor injuries.

Firefighters battling a 35-square-mile fire near Entiat, Washington, are getting ready to do some controlled burns to push back the southern end of the blaze, which is about 34 percent contained.

Fire spokesman Daniel O'Connor said Tuesday they're having some problems with flaming debris rolling down the hill and past the southern fire line.

"We had a good day on the fire yesterday," O'Connor said. "The thunderstorms and associated winds that blew into the area did not adversely affect the fire. We're fortunate about that."

Thunderstorms did spark some new fires around the West on Monday, but none have grown to threaten homes. Hundreds of residents in Washington, Oregon and California continued to be under evacuation orders Tuesday.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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