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Eagle Creek Fire; How crews are holding up

Jay Karle, center right, a crew boss assigned to assist Soldiers of 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 17th Field Artillery Brigade, points out boundaries to be used during wildland firefighting training near Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Aug. 20, 2015. The “First Round” Soldiers have been activated to help suppress fires in the Pacific Northwest due to civilian resources running low.

CASCADE LOCKS, Ore. - For many firefighters throughout the state of Oregon, this summer has been a bit busier than normal.

Several of the crews have been on the road for months, and now find themselves at the Eagle Creek Fire, which has burned up 52 square miles of forestland in the Columbia River Gorge.

Over 900 people are living in a pop-up city near the fire, usually either sleeping, or out on the fire lines.

"We're trying to sleep during the day," said firefighter Bryan Crocker. "Obviously, we're not sleeping very well."

Before coming to the Eagle Creek Fire, Crocker was working at the Warm Springs Fire a month ago. He was at the Milli Fire before that.

Cody Tisue, another firefighter, has been on the road for months, battling fires in Colorado, Arizona, and now Oregon.

These are just a couple of the hundreds of men and women who typically work 16-hour days, and try to rest up during the other eight before getting back to work.

"You try to get a few hours of sleep here and there when you're here, but there's a lot of stuff going on," said Guy Smith, a Sweet Home firefighter.

These crews often spend days, sometimes weeks away from their families and their homes, but they know that is part of what they're signing up for.

From the looks of it currently, the fire crews currently fighting the Eagle Creek Fire won't be leaving any time soon. Full containment of this fire is not expected to happen until sometimes in October.

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