Some Residents Returning Home After Columbia Gorge Wildfire Evac - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Some Residents Returning Home After Columbia Gorge Wildfire Evacuations

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UPDATE/GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - Some residents of the 275 homes evacuated in the path of a wind-driven wildfire in Oregon's Columbia Gorge have been allowed to return.
Fire spokeswoman Tina O'Donnell said Thursday that the danger to the community of Rowena overlooking the Columbia River about 75 miles east of Portland had eased and structural fire teams were cutting brush and trees to create safe zones around homes.
There was no immediate count of homes where residents were allowed to return.
The Rowena fire started Tuesday evening in brush, and by Thursday, had grown to 4.1 square miles in steep terrain 6 miles east of The Dalles. The cause remains under investigation. Old Highway 30 remained closed in the fire area.


ROWENA, Ore. (AP) - A new wildfire in the Columbia Gorge is threatening homes in the community of Rowena, six miles west of The Dalles.

The Wasco County Sheriff's Office says residents of seven homes have been told to evacuate and others have been told to prepare to leave. The fire was first reported in brush around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday. It quickly spread to scrub oak and timber and as of Wednesday morning bad burned about 70 acres.

Rowena is an unincorporated data with a population of nearly 200 people.