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Wildfire east of The Dalles burns 3,000 acres; evacuations lifted


A fire that broke out early Thursday evening grew to nearly 3,000 acres by nightfall and was threatening homes about six miles east of The Dalles, prompting evacuations that later were lifted and a partial closure of Interstate 84 for a time, authorities said.

Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue said on Twitter the 15 Mile Fire started at 5:35 p.m. Thursday and stiff winds fanned the flames as it moved from I-84 uphill to 15 Mile Road.

Authorities called for closure of I-84 from Biggs Junction to The Dalles in both directions at about 9 p.m. Thursday, but it apparently never completely closed and was fully open again overnight, the fire agency said. Check the latest at KTVZ.COM’s TripCheck page.

The fire agency reported on Twitter around 10 p.m. that 66 firefighters were on the blaze and it was 60 percent contained, having raced across 2,800 acres in just a few hours.

Later, the fire agency said after midnight that while the Celilo Village evacuation order had been lifted, “active fire growth” was still occurring. It also said a public information hotline had been established at 541-506-2792.

Wasco County emergency manager Juston Huffman said people in Celilo Village and on 15 Mile and Old Moody roads had been issued a Level 3 evacuation notice, which means people should leave their residences immediately.

The American Red Cross was preparing a shelter for any evacuees at The Dalles Middle School before the evacuation order was lifted.

Resources from Hood River, the Oregon Department of Forestry, Klickitat County and the Bureau of Land Management are helping battle the fire. Fire officials said they were attempting to stop the fire farther uphill at Fulton Road.

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