View from Rye Ridge looking east.JPG

The Joseph Canyon Fire is shown from Rye Ridge on Sunday, June 6, 2021. The fire, as of Tuesday morning, has burned about 7,575 acres.

WALLOWA COUNTY — The Joseph Canyon Fire continued to grow on Sunday, June 6, but at a slower rate thanks to cooler temperatures and more moderate winds.

The blaze, burning in Northeastern Wallowa County, has reached 4,000, according to the latest update.

"We won today. We didn't win Saturday, but we won today," said Andy Hayes, incident commander trainee for the Blue Mountain Type 3 Incident Management Team.

Containment of the fire is at 0%, but the fire's spread was held to 300 acres Sunday. The improved conditions allowed firefighters to work strategically. Added resources and burnout operations along Cottonwood Creek help create an anchor point to begin establishing containment lines.

Larisa Bogardus, public affairs officer for the Vale District of the Bureau of Land Management, said as of Sunday night, 209 personnel were assigned to the fire. That included six hotshot crews, 12 engines and seven helicopters.

The Dry Creek Fire, southeast of the Joseph Canyon Fire, has grown to 1,600 acres and is burning in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. Two hotshot crews, smoke jumpers, and rappelers are working on suppression efforts.

"It's really gnarly country," Bogardus said. "It's bad. Getting resources into it safely was a challenge."

That fire, like the Joseph Canyon Fire, is currently at 0% containment.

Northwest 7 Type 2 Incident Management Team is assuming control of fighting both blazes.

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