By Associated Press • 

Crews fight with home-destroying fire near John Day


PORTLAND — Crews fighting a wildfire near John Day, Oregon, will spend Tuesday trying to strengthen control lines to prevent further damage to homes.

The lightning-sparked blaze on the Malheur National Forest has grown to 63 square miles and ruined at least 26 houses. Another 500 structures are threatened by the fire that is the No. 1 priority within Oregon for receiving resources when they become available.

More than 550 firefighters were at the scene as of late Monday — a day when fire behavior was active, but not extreme. Crews often dug lines by hand in areas too steep for bulldozers to climb, while helicopters doused hot spots from above.

Elsewhere, the Kah-Nee-Ta Resort in Central Oregon reopened after a wildfire forced 400 guests to evacuate as a precaution last week. The fire that threatened the resort is now more than 30 percent contained.

The Cornet-Windy Ridge fire near Baker City remains the state's largest wildfire. The blaze has scorched more than 150 square miles, but is now 35 percent contained.

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