WILDFIRE WATCH 2014: Evacuation orders lifted for wildfire near - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WILDFIRE WATCH 2014: Evacuation orders lifted for wildfire near The Dalles

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THE DALLES, Ore. - The Oregon Department of Forestry lifted evacuation orders Saturday for 740 homes near a Columbia Gorge wildfire. Officials say residents should remain on alert.

The Oregon fire has burned 5 square miles since it started Tuesday. After burnouts on Friday and early Saturday, it is 55 percent contained.

Firefighters are also focusing on creating defensible space around homes in the small town of Rowena.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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For up-to-date evacuation and road closure information, call the Wasco County Sheriff's Rowena Fire Hotline at 541-506-2792.

THE DALLES, Ore. (AP) - Authorities say the wildfire burning in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge about 75 miles east of Portland has destroyed a home, damaged two others and is threatening 740 more.
   
Residents of more than 140 homes have been told to evacuate and nearly 600 households have been put on alert in the community of Rowena near The Dalles.
   
The official information page for the Rowena Fire on Facebook says the fire covered about 5 square miles by Friday morning with a forecast of low humidity and high winds increasing the danger.
   
The fire started Tuesday in brush and forced hundreds of people to flee. Many were allowed to return home Thursday, but the flames continued to spread despite the efforts of more than 400 firefighters.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
 

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