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Firefighters keep Knoll Fire under control

Command taken over by McKenzie District

"The fire isn't completely out until it's black and it's cold," explained Randy Johnson during Monday night's online briefing on fires burning on federal lands near McKenzie Bridge and Oakridge. Johnson, Incident Commander for the Knoll Fire and Middle Fork Fire Complex, told onlookers that the recent clearer weather and winds associated with it were some things firefighters welcomed.

The clearer skies provided opportunities to observe fire activities from the air. "It showed us where the fire is situated, where the weak spots are and where it has the ability to burn," he added. Besides getting a look from above, aircrews were also able to resume water drops that had been grounded.

Johnson had good news for McKenzie Valley residents. "The Knoll Fire is looking really good and was turned back to the Ranger District on Monday," he reported. That meant local crews would be tasked with patrol and mop-up operations as well as making sure it stayed within confinement lines.

He also offered encouragement to people over in the Oakridge-Westfir area when he noted that Fire Evacuation notices there had been reduced from a Level 2 to a Level 1.

In the weeks to come crews will continue operations to keep the fires within their containment lines, Johnson said.


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