WALLOWA COUNTY — The Elbow Creek Fire is continuing to grow in size.
As of the latest update, the blaze burning southwest of Troy is at a reported 16,432 acres, with the latest total including growth not previously captured by infrared mapping, according to the Type 1 Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team 3 that is battling the fire.
There are a total of 343 firefighters currently working on the fire, the team said.
"Crews continued to manage northside lines of the fire perimeter successfully," the update stated. "Growth occurred on the southwest side with winds out of the northeast pushing the fire through the canyons. Steep and rocky terrain continues to be challenging in the canyons of the Grande Ronde River. With a limited number of crews, the incident management team will focus efforts in the most challenging areas along the southwestern portions of the fire in the Grossman Creek Drainage. Dozers are also being utilized in this area along the top of canyon shelves where they can be more effective. The eastern edge of the fire is holding and has transitioned to mop-up operations."
Weather conditions could bring additional challenges to firefighters. A red flag warning is in effect, with the potential for severe lightning and thunderstorms in the forecast.
"Thunderstorm activity could also bring erratic winds, further challenging fire suppression actions," the update read.