Gov. Kitzhaber to visit smoky southern Oregon - KPTV - FOX 12

Gov. Kitzhaber to visit smoky southern Oregon

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Gov. John Kitzhaber will visit southwest Oregon on Saturday to get a first-hand look at the wildfires that have threatened homes and made the air unhealthy to breathe.

He'll be joined by U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley. The trip comes after the death of a firefighter who was hit by a falling tree Thursday while removing fuels near a small wildfire in Central Oregon.

Nearly 4,500 firefighters are battling the blazes that have charred more than 40,000 acres of forestland in the state. Cooler temperatures helped slow the wildfires Thursday.

The state appears to have caught a break as no large wildfire has yet to result from the more than 4,000 lightning strikes that hit Central and Eastern Oregon on Thursday and early Friday.

But many small fires ignited, including the blaze that led to the death of firefighter John Hammack. His body is being recovered Friday.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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