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Evacuated residents allowed to return home as fire activity calms near John Day

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JOHN DAY, Oregon — Firefighters battling a destructive wildfire near John Day are allowing people who have been evacuated for weeks to return to their homes.

The last evacuation alerts were lifted on Wednesday, but residents in several neighborhoods were told to be ready to leave on short notice.

The fire has destroyed 43 homes and burned more than 165 square miles. It is 52 percent contained.

Crews focused Wednesday on containing spot fires that broke out beyond the containment lines during a period of hotter temperatures and lower humidity Tuesday. They were hopeful that cooler, more humid conditions Wednesday would allow firefighters to control the flames and strengthen their containment lines.

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