- Associated Press - Thursday, August 14, 2014

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - Lightning is forecast to continue over north-central Oregon, but storms are likely to include heavy rain that is moderating the danger of large new wildfires.

The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center reports Thursday that light rain has helped firefighters make major progress on containing the eight large fires still burning across 178 square miles in Oregon. And more rain is expected.

Spokeswoman Carol Connolly says the rain makes the fires less active, and allows firefighters to cut containment lines closer to the flames.

Oregon saw 6,000 lighting strikes, all but a few of them east of the Cascades. But the 18 new fires so far have averaged less than six acres.

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