The Latest: Wildfire forces evacuation of 440 Oregon homes
Aug. 19, 2017
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on wildfires in the West (all times local):
Residents of about 440 homes near the central Oregon town of Sisters have been told to evacuate because of a nearly 11-square-mile (28-square-kilometer) wildfire in the Deschutes National Forest.
Susie Heisey, a public information officer with Central Oregon Dispatch, says residents in several other homes in the region have been warned to be ready to evacuate if needed.
So far fire crews have not been able to contain any part of the wildfire, which is burning in the so-called "zone of totality" for Monday's solar eclipse. The region is considered a top eclipse-viewing location, but heavy smoke and the rapidly growing fire has prompted officials to close nearby campsites, recreational areas and roads.
The McKenzie Pass Highway 242 has been closed between Highway 126 and Sisters.
Heisey says the closures will likely have a big impact on people traveling through the region for the eclipse.
A wildfire has destroyed two homes in Montana after jumping control lines.
Missoula County officials said Friday the homes were among 750 that had been evacuated earlier.
Some outbuildings also burned Thursday night.
Firefighters were bracing for another difficult day of high temperatures, gusty winds and low humidity.
The fire was started by lightning in mid-July and blew up Wednesday night.
It has burned nearly 30 square miles (76 square kilometers) of forest land southwest of Lolo. Evacuations were in effect along the U.S. Highway 93 and U.S. Highway 12 corridors.
Other wildfires were burning in Oregon and California.