Gains made on fires scorching Western states

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Crews are gaining control over some of the largest wildfires in the West after a break in the weather brought cooler temperatures and even some rain to parts of the region.

On Friday, almost 3,000 firefighters were working dozens of blazes that flared up in recent days in forests and shrub land in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Oregon.

Active fires in those states have scorched almost 175,000 acres, or about 270 square miles.

Authorities say crews hope to soon contain two of the largest fire complexes. Those have burned a combined 60,000 acres near the Montana communities of Otter and Lame Deer. Crews also reported gains on a fire along the Wyoming-Montana border and one near Bonner, Mont.

Conditions could deteriorate over the weekend, with hot temperatures and wind forecast.