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Wildfires continue to burn throughout Oregon

John Day, Oreg. -- Wildfires continue to burn throughout the hills and mountains of Oregon Monday as crews from federal, state and local agencies struggled to contain fires that have charred more than 1 million acres (405,000 hectares) of the West amid a heat wave gripping the drought-parched region.

A number of small and medium sized fires burning in the foothills of Oregon sprouted up and a thick layer of smoke blanketed the entire panorama.

Rescue helicopters with buckets attached to ropes were seen as they raced through the air to get more water to drop on the flames below.

More than 29,000 civilian fire personnel already were deployed throughout the West, most of them front-line ground crews. Property losses were concentrated in IdahoOregon and Washington, with 108 homes confirmed as destroyed among those three states alone since Friday, authorities said.

A cluster of wildfires dubbed the Canyon Creek Complex in central Oregon destroyed 26 dwellings over the weekend and continued to threaten hundreds of other structures on Monday, according to authorities.

The Clearwater fire was one of 14 major wildfires burning across Idaho and one of about 95 tallied in seven Western states, the bulk of them in WashingtonOregonMontana and California, the Interagency Fire Center said. Little if any containment had been achieved on many of those blazes on Monday, the agency reported.

The Pacific Northwest states of Oregon and Washington tallied more than 30 large conflagrations together and some of the highest property losses.

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