Canyon Creek Fire grows, Oregon National Guardsmen join the figh - KPTV - FOX 12

Canyon Creek Fire grows, Oregon National Guardsmen join the fight

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JOHN DAY, OR (KPTV) -

Oregon's worst wildfire showed some explosive growth overnight, and Thursday more homes were put under evacuation.

New aerial images of the Canyon Creek Fire burning near John Day show how the fire is expanding, up 10,000 acres since Wednesday and now burning approximately 85,000 acres.

The fire has already destroyed nearly 40 homes, and now more are in danger after the fire moved down Pine Creek forcing more Level 3 evacuations.

The war against the fire is now being fought in part by the military. Thursday was the first full day on the fire lines across the state for 125 members of the Oregon National Guard, many of them deployed to the Canyon Creek Fire.

Sgt. Joe Gassner, one of guardsmen who have been deployed to this fire, told Fox 12 Thursday via phone that troops are doing well, the motivation is high, and they're excited to help Oregonians.

Gassner noted the biggest challenge so far has been guardsmen breaking in their newly-issued boots, in an attempt to prevent blisters as they spend 12 hours on their feet, providing backup to firefighters.

He also said it's been hard seeing all the destruction.     

“We had to drive through some of the burned out structures, that was pretty heart breaking just to see the people sifting through their belongings,” Gassner said.

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