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Crews Have Oregon's First Major Wildfire Nearly Contained

<p>The Owyhee Canyon Fire has burned nearly 23,000 acres in Malheur County.</p>

Bureau of Land Management

The Owyhee Canyon Fire has burned nearly 23,000 acres in Malheur County.

Fire crews in eastern Oregon said Wednesday they have mostly contained the state’s first major wildfire of the season.

The Owyhee Canyon Fire ignited over the weekend and has burned nearly 23,000 acres in Malheur County.

At its peak, the fire reached about a mile and a half southeast of Rome, Oregon. It’s now around 90 percent contained.

“We were very worried that the fire could get into the Owyhee Canyon and use the old debris from the river to carry itself across the river to the other side,” said incident commander Sam DeLong. “Luckily, the Vale Hot Shot crew was able to get down into the canyon and keep that from happening.”

In a press release Wednesday, officials said they are also still closely monitoring the nearby Jenkins Reservoir Fire. Firefighters have managed to keep that blaze to around 170 acres.

Fire officials said they'll be closely monitoring the Jenkins Reservoir and Owyhee Canyon fires because of warm conditions and lightning in the area. They remain hopeful that cooler temperatures later in the week will help containment efforts.

Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting

OPB Staff