Rowena Fire in Columbia River Gorge Burns Home, Threatens Hundre - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Rowena Fire in Columbia River Gorge Burns Home, Threatens Hundreds

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UPDATE / THE DALLES, OR - As of Friday morning, the Rowena wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge has destroyed 1 home, damaged 2 others and threatens 740 more.

Firefighters say the fire now covers about 5 square miles. The forecast for Friday is for low humidity and high winds which firefighters say will increase the danger.

The fire started Tuesday in brush and has forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes. Many were allowed to return home Thursday, but the flames continued to spread despite the efforts of more than 400 firefighters.

Emergency personnel evacuated 140 families Friday morning, and told 600 other families to be ready to leave.

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Several people in Oregon can return to their homes as a fire near The Dalles continues to burn.Firefighters have been clearing brush and grass to create buffer zone around the town of Rowena.

Nearly 300 families had to evacuate when the fire sparked Tuesday night, all but 75 families were allowed home Thursday afternoon.

Fast moving winds have fueled the fire, so far it has burned more than 2,500 acres.

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