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An infrared map outlines what has been burned by the Elbow Creek Fire in northwestern Wallowa County. The fire, in the latest update Saturday morning, July 17, 2021, has burned an estimated 10,941 acres.

Crews have been able to hold a key line to the south of the Elbow Creek Fire, according to an update Saturday morning, July 17.

The latest infrared mapping has the fire at an estimated 10,941 acres, slightly lower than rough estimates of 12,000-13,000 acres. 

The spread of the fire has primarily been east and west, with some growth also to the north. Air support from helicopters and air tankers have been primarily used north and south of the blaze, Acacia Probert, public affairs specialist with the U.S. Forest Service, told the Chieftain Saturday. 

"Crews are aiding in structure protection," she said.

"They were able to hold it last night north of Sickfoot Road," Probert said. "Today, they are going to be focusing on holding it in the Wildcat Creek area (to the east). That is one of the points of concern."

To the west, the fire has jumped Grossman Creek, Probert said, but crews are working to gain an advantage there.

"Hasn't moved up Indian Point yet," she said. "(Crews are) scouting opportunities to build containment lines on the west side of the fire."

According to an update from the USFS, those fighting the fire include "landowners, private operators, and various federal and state resources (hand crews, dozers, multiple engines, and water tenders)."

A Type 3 Northeast Oregon Interagency Management Team is working the blaze.

"The agencies will inbrief the Oregon Department of Forestry Team 3 Type 1 Incident Management Team, led by Link Smith, today at 5 p.m. at the Wallowa High School. The team is anticipated to take command of the fire tomorrow," the release states. 

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