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Lightning sparks 51 new wildfires in Oregon

GRANTS PASS (AP) — Lightning has ignited 51 new wildfires in Oregon, and storms are forecast to continue through Wednesday.

The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center in Portland reports Tuesday those new fires are burning across 11 square miles. The two biggest are grass fires in eastern Oregon’s Gilliam County. Incident 769 is 10 miles north of Condon, and the Blaylock Canyon fire is 8 miles west of Arlington.

Spokeswoman Carol Connolly says the Northwest remains the nation’s top wildfire priority, but some crews and equipment fighting Oregon’s 11 existing large fires are being sent to the new fires.

More lightning is expected Tuesday and Wednesday. As the current storm system moves northwest and out of Oregon, another wetter system will enter in southwestern Oregon, and move across the Cascades into central and northeastern Oregon.

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