Triple-digit heat to make life tough for Oregon fire crews

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Triple-digit heat returns to southern Oregon this week, making life difficult for crews battling several major wildfires.

The Statesman Journal reports milder temperatures in recent days allowed firefighters to make progress on a blaze west of Grants Pass that has burned more than 62 square miles (160 square kilometers).

That fire — the largest in southern Oregon — is about 40 percent contained. Teams have largely secured the fire’s eastern flank near the most populated areas.

Meanwhile, the state Department of Forestry says the Garner complex of wildfires is now more than 80 percent contained.

Crews using infrared scanners to detect pockets of heat near containment lines are finding fewer hot spots, and the fires are expected to be fully contained by week’s end.

The lightning-sparked Garner blazes have cost more than $40 million to fight.