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Diamond Creek Fire 70 percent contained

— The Diamond Creek Fire is 70 percent contained, with a revised size of 127,498 acres burned as of Friday, Sept. 22.

The blaze, reported July 23, is burning about 11 miles north of Mazama. A Level 2 evacuation alert for the Lost River, Mazama and Rendezvous areas was downgraded last week to Level 1.

Fire officials had been saying the blaze was human-caused. Now the cause is listed as under investigation.

Heavy fuels continue to burn in the areas of Monument Creek, Pat Creek, Tungsten Mine, Tatoosh and along the Canadian side of the border. Because of more accurate mapping, a revised breakdown of acreage shows approximately 97,043 acres have burned in the United States and 30,454 acres in Canada.

No significant growth is expected on the U.S. side, but increased fire activity still is possible with a drying weather pattern in the forecast, fire officials said.

Helicopters flew over the fire Thursday, Sept. 21, and suppression repair work continued. Efforts included work near Forest Road 860. Ground resources also continued suppression repair work in the southern and eastern flanks of the fire work near Forest Road 500.

Crews will continue to remove and stack felled trees using feller bunchers, and pile and chip debris created during construction of the primary and contingency lines. Chipping is near completion on Eightmile Road, and was expected to be finished Friday, Sept. 22.

Completion of the Burned Area Emergency Response assessment over the coming days and weeks will address public safety.

Six crews, three engines, two helicopters, one dozer and other heavy equipment remain on the incident. There were 231 people assigned to the fire as of Friday.

This weekend is the last of the high hunt, so forest officials urge caution when driving, hunting or being within open areas of the forest, and looking out for fire apparatus and personnel.

Friday was the first day of fall, with isolated snow and rain showers in the forecast.

Areas on the east and west sides of the Diamond Creek Fire have been reopened for public use. On the west side, Harts Pass Road, Robinson Creek and Middle Fork of the Pasaytan River are now open. Open on the east side are Falls Creek, Black Lake, the lower section of Andrews Creek and the Chewuch No. 510 Trail to the confluence of Basin Creek.

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