BOISE, Idaho – Mandatory evacuations were ordered Monday for a number of homes near a fast-moving Oregon wildfire as hot, dry weather continued to fuel several other fires across the West.
Strong winds in the Columbia River Gorge fanned a wildfire burning on 3,000 acres, forcing the evacuation of dozens of homes Monday while other residents waited to hear if they were going to have to leave.
The Government Flats Complex of fires was burning in hilly country near The Dalles, a Columbia River city that’s a favorite hangout for windsurfers. Officials said 50 structures were ordered evacuated. It wasn’t clear how many of those were homes.
KPTV.com reported that about 70 structures remained threatened Monday by the Blackburn Fire, part of the Government Flat Complex of fires. The American Red Cross established a shelter at an area elementary school for individuals forced from their homes.
Meanwhile, fire crews were also battling blazes in Idaho, Montana, Utah and California.
Mandatory evacuations were prompted by growing wildfire in dry mountain terrain south of Idyllwild that also shut down two highways on Monday afternoon.
The blaze was at 235 acres at just before 5 p.m., about 3 hours after it began, Mark Annas of the Riverside County Fire Department said.
Evacuations were ordered for the Living Free Animal Sanctuary, Bonita Vista Community of about 20 homes and four homes at Fleming Ranch, the department.
Dubbed the Mountain Fire, the wildfire was under attack from 307 firefighters, four helicopters and six air tankers, according to a fire department incident report. It was 5 percent contained at 4:55 p.m.