Twin fires raging near Crater Lake send embers flying up to a mile past control lines

NASA satellite image from August 3 shows the Blanket and Spruce Lake Fires burning near Crater Lake National Park.

CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK, Ore. - A wildfire burned closer to Crater Lake as firefighters worked to contain the blaze and another fire burning nearby.

"Blanket Creek and Spruce Lake Fire control operations continue with ongoing challenges of record heat and extremely dry fuels," fire managers said in a briefing. "Each day, in the afternoon heat, the fires have increased in intensity."

Lightning sparked both blazes late last month.

Now a firefighting force of 852 people is working to tame the blazes.

The Blanket Creek Fire had burned 2,482 acres was 7 percent contained as of 10 a.m. Thursday.

The Spruce Lake Fire stood at 5 percent contained and 2,425 acres.

Firefighters struggled to hold the line against "spot fires" - new ignitions caused by embers thrown aloft by existing fires.

Crews race to tamp out those blazes.

But on the Blanket Creek Fire, one of those spot fires took hold on a steep hillside, forcing firefighters to work to establish contingency fire lines.

And on the Spruce Lake Fire, embers flew up to a mile at a time, sparking new fires that grew together and pushed the blaze past the Pacific Crest Trail. Eight miles of the trail are closed, from Lightning Springs Trail north to Red Cone Camp.

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