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Weather helps firefighters make progress on wildfire near John Day, Oregon

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PORTLAND, Oregon — Crews fighting a large, home-wrecking wildfire south of John Day, Oregon, caught a break as cooler weather, lighter winds and even a bit of rain helped them get ahead of the flames.

John Kennedy is the planning operations section chief on the Canyon Creek Complex, which has destroyed more than 40 homes and burned 158 square miles since Aug. 12.

Strong winds got the weekend off to a difficult start, but Kennedy says Sunday's change in the weather gave firefighters a chance to "close doors on the fire." The forecast calls for mild temperatures all week, with highs in the low-to-mid 80s Monday and Tuesday and then no more than 70 degrees through Saturday.

Firefighters were able to connect control lines on the southeast corner of the fire, and Kennedy says the western and southern portions of the massive blaze are now mostly in a monitor and patrol status.

Overall, the wildfire was about 50 contained Monday morning. Nearly 1,000 people are battling it.

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