Lightning continues to spark wildfires in Oregon

PORTLAND — Lightning continues to spark wildfires in Oregon, including two new large fires in the southwest and central parts of the state.

At the regional fire center in Portland, spokeswoman Carol Connolly said Thursday morning that more than 40 small fires were reported in the previous 24 hours.

Nearly 500,000 acres — about 780 square miles — are burning.

Connolly said that of the 13 large fires in the state, six are 80 percent or more contained.

The two new large fires are the Beaver Complex about 20 miles northwest of Medford and the Haystack Complex nine miles northwest of Kimberly in central Oregon.

Lightning has caused most of the fires. Hot weather remains in the forecast, and officials expect lightning and thunderstorms to start more new fires.

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