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NWA Special News
Lightning struck nearly 6,000 times across the northern part of Oregon, particularly in the Cascades, said David Widmark, spokesman for the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center.Crews will keep a careful watch Wednesday for any fires they missed, he said.
Evacuation orders in effect as Ore., Wash. battle fires
A voluntary evacuation order remained in effect for the threatened homes near Summer Lake, and several homes in the Silver Lake area also were in danger, said David Widmark, a spokesman for the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center.
Any new fires started by lightning could draw crews off the state's major blazes, Widmark
"What happens with the weather will tell us what the rest of the week will look like for fire behavior," Widmark
Officials dispatched an additional 800 firefighters to the blaze Sunday, bringing the total force to about 2,000 people, and National Guard troops are expected to arrive today.
The blaze was about 15 percent contained Sunday, Widmark
In addition to stiff wind and high temperatures, firefighters have faced a threat of electrical arcs as dense smoke creates short circuits between the ground and Bonneville Power Administration power lines in the area.
Blue bolts of electricity from the power lines have killed several cows, and firefighters won't go near the lines.
Two fires joined Saturday to form the huge blaze on rolling hills between Summer Lake and Silver Lake.
Fire crews call for help (8/17/2001)
We have 50 outstanding crew orders that need to be filled right now for Washington and Oregon fires , and approximately 500 firefighters on the line right now , said David Widmark , information officer for the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center in Portland , Ore. We need at least another 1 , 000 firefighters ASAP..
Three hundred fresh firefighters arrived Thursday in Boise , Idaho , for deployment.More than 100 crews have been brought in from Minnesota , Wisconsin and other parts of the country.
In Oregon , fires near the communities of Ashland , Monument and Ukiah remained serious.Another fire in the sparsely populated Lake View area had spread to more than 179 , 000 acres.
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Crews in the remote subdivision of Three Rivers managed to save most structures in the evacuated 200-home development, dousing them in water and fire retardant and clearing brush and trees, said David Widmark, spokesman for the Northwest Fire Coordination Center.
"There are lots of heroic efforts by firefighters.
said the fire approached the Three Rivers airstrip on Sunday and was burning aggressively along a ridgeline near Madras, about 100 miles southeast of Portland.
Evacuees were taken to Jefferson County Middle School
About 960 firefighters battled the fire Sunday morning and "considerably more" were expected, Widmark
All 200 homes were evacuated Saturday afternoon, and the evacuation order was later extended to an additional 80 homes in the nearby developments of Forest Park and Chinook Village, Widmark
said.It was not clear if any those homes had burned by Sunday morning.
"This fire's burning very erratically," Widmark
The fire was started by lightning early last week in steep terrain, then zigzagged and crossed containment lines several times.It even jumped the Metolius River and burned into a roadless section of the Deschutes National Forest, and firefighters had to use boats to reach the area.
Wildfires were burning in other western states as well Sunday.
In western Colorado, a 4,100-acre wildfire forced evacuations late Saturday in Redvale, a town of about 400.
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'It's a prescription for a bad headache,' said David Widmark, a fire information officer at the Northwest Fire Coordination Center.In a 24-hour period starting early Saturday there were 5,500 lightning strikes recorded, he said.Within the last six days, almost 100,000 acres of timberland and brush has burned across Oregon.More than 2,000 firefighters are engaged in the battle.There were 58 large wildfires burning in 11 states Sunday, most of them in the West, according to Monday's report from the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.About 3.3 million acres of timberland has already burned this year and the fire season has not reached its peak last this month.This is more than twice the 10-year average of 1.6 million acres.The season promises to be one of the nation's most worst.Montana Gov.