Dry Northwest burns as fire season in West extends

By Shannon Dininny

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 11 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

—The Millie Fire, burning 20 miles south of Bozeman, Mont. The fire continued to threaten the city's water supply and 10 commercial buildings. Fire spokeswoman Jennifer Myslivy said the flames were stopped for now at the top of a ridge over South Cottonwood Canyon, sparing adjacent areas that serve as Bozeman's watershed.

— The Pole Creek Fire southwest of the town of Sisters in central Oregon. About 300 firefighters were assigned to blaze, which was burning most heavily in the Three Sisters Wilderness Area. The fire area had grown to nearly 7 square miles, or 4,300 acres by Tuesday.

— As many as 80 fires sparked by lightning Saturday along the east slopes of the Cascades in Washington state. Most remained small, but one fire threatened homes near Grand Coulee Dam in Douglas and Grant counties and burned more than 23 square miles of sagebrush and grass. Another fire 17 miles southwest of Creston in Lincoln County burned across 28 square miles.

— A wildfire in a rugged area of the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles, which is expected to be fully contained by early Thursday. The U.S. Forest Service said the fire was 91 percent contained Tuesday after burning 6½ square miles. The fire broke out over Labor Day weekend, sending thousands of visitors from the Angeles National Forest and keeping out thousands more. A few dozen residents had to evacuate, but they were allowed back to their homes late last week.

Associated Press writers Matthew Brown in Billings, Mont., and Mead Gruver in Cheyenne, Wyo., contributed to this report.

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