RIDDLE — An Incident Management Team with the Oregon Department of Forestry returned the responsibility of managing the Horse Prairie Fire to the Douglas Forest Protective Association on Friday.

The blaze that started Aug. 26 about 12 miles west of Riddle is reported to have burned 16,436 acres as of Friday and is now 90 percent contained. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Slowly burning material and unburned fuels will continue to produce smoke leaving local residents with days of murky air until heavy rains return in fall, according to a press release.

About 80 crew members made up firefighters, equipment operators and timber fallers will continue working on the fire by patrolling fire lines, hauling equipment, mopping up hot spots and suppressing fires.

Both private landowners and representatives from the Bureau of Land Management will be on site to determine the extent of fire damage on the land.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office lifted all evacuation notices as of 8 a.m. Friday on the Horse Prairie Fire, since the fire no longer threatens any homes.

The vicinity of Horse Prairie Fire remains temporarily closed to the general public for firefighter and public safety, including all lands within the perimeter of the fire and the Cow Creek Scenic Byway from the 200 block of Lower Cow Creek to the Union Creek Junction at the 13,000 block of Lower Cow Creek.

Reporter Vera Westbrook can be reached at 541-957-4216 or vwestbrook@nrtoday.com.

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Education and Arts and Entertainment Reporter

Vera Westbrook is the education, nonprofits, and arts and entertainment reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4216 or by email at vwestbrook@nrtoday.com.

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