PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A wildfire burning in Eastern Oregon exploded in size overnight into Wednesday.
As of 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Bureau of Land Management estimated the Willowcreek Fire to be 40,000 acres. However, just before 9:30 a.m., the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center listed the fire at more than 33,000 acres.
Zero percent of the rangeland fire, which is burning northeast of Vale, is contained at this time, according to multiple agencies.
State and local firefighters worked through the night to position resources to help fight the fire.
The BLM expects the fire will intensify as temperatures rise Wednesday, but the region expects lighter winds and officials hope the fire won’t spread as quickly as it did on Tuesday.
“The winds calmed about 3 a.m. which gave us a good chance to get around the hot spots on the fire,” Vale BLM Fire Duty Officer Justin Fenton said Wednesday morning.
Air crews will join ground crews in suppression efforts Wednesday.
So far, no injuries have been reported as a result of the fire. No structures are threatened and no evacuation notices have been issued.
The fire was reported on private land Tuesday afternoon and later crossed onto lands managed by the Vale BLM. It is currently burning in grass and sagebrush rangelands.
Interstate 84 was closed between Ontario and Baker City for several hours due to smoke, but it reopened at around 11 p.m., according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.
In its previous update issued at 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, the BLM estimated the fire was 15,000 acres.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Oregon Sen. Lynn Findley, who represents Malheur County, the county the fire is burning in, said in an email that he is thankful for all first responders and volunteers working to fight the fire.
“In our area, it is extremely smoky outside which can be very dangerous to your health. Please stay indoors, close your windows, call your neighbors to check in on them, and please do not drive out to the fire line or leave the house if you do not need to do so,” he wrote.