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Sep 1, 10:30 AM EDT

Crews make good progress on large wildfire near John Day


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Evacuation warnings remain for those threatened by a wildfire south of John Day, but mild weather helped crews fighting the blaze that has burned 165 square miles and destroyed 43 homes.

Fire spokeswoman Stacey Weems says crews made good progress on priority hot spots Monday. Firefighters on the southeast part of the fire completed a burnout along the Strawberry Wilderness boundary and plan to start mopping up Tuesday.

On the northeast, firefighters used dozers to complete a control line around a hot spot that flared just outside the perimeter. Hotshot crews, meanwhile, scouted the eastern flank to assess options for a direct attack.

The fire is 49 percent contained, but Weems says that figure could soon jump considerably.

Though wind gusts of up to 35 mph were expected Tuesday evening, much cooler weather is on the way. From Wednesday through Sunday, the forecast calls for high temperatures in the 60s and low 70s.

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