Fires in Central Oregon have forced the evacuation of homes west of Bend.
More than 300 firefighters worked overnight on the blaze, but it still remained zero percent contained Sunday morning.
Firefighting authorities say two fires were spotted Saturday afternoon. The fires grew quickly prompting officials to evacuate about 250 homes in two areas, by late Saturday evening.
The two fires have nearly merged into one, but are still separate. But fire officials are treating them as one fire dubbed the “Two Bulls” fire.
Officials say winds and higher temperatures Sunday afternoon could “cause an escalation in fire behavior.”
The first evacuation order affected residents of the Saddleback subdivision northwest of Bend.
The second was for homes along Skyliners Road due west of the city.
Fire officials said it had grown to 6,180 acres by Sunday. About 2,000 homes are considered threatened.
The local Red Cross is receiving evacuated families at an emergency shelter, set up at at High Desert Middle School.
According to KTVZ, as the fire pushed south and southwest, other residents were told to get ready to leave:
Saturday night, as the fire pushed south and southwest, the agency added a Level 2 pre-evacuation advisory for residents in the area located south of Shevlin Park Road, west of Mt. Washington Drive, and north of Century Drive.
That notice warns of “a good probability that hazards associated with the approaching fire will severely limit our ability to provide emergency service protection.”
“You must prepare to leave at a moment’s notice,” the advisory states, adding that first responders are working on information about when to leave and what routes to take.
Also issued was a Level 1 notice, for residents in the rest of Northwest Crossing (east of Mt. Washington Drive), and the area that includes residents north of Shevlin Park and west of Mt. Washington Drive.
In that area, residents were warned “that current or projected threats from hazards associated with the approaching fire are severe,” and that “this is the time for preparation and precautionary movement of persons with special needs, mobile property and (under certain circumstances) pets and livestock.
The Sheriff’s office sent the following information in a news release Saturday:
Residents in the Saddleback area on the WEST side of Johnson Road are to evacuate SOUTHBOUND toward Shevlin Park. Residents on the EAST side of Johnson Road are to evacuate NORTHBOUND on Johnson Road. This is requested to ensure a smooth and efficient evacuation. There are several road closures in the area of the fire, as well as the areas being evacuated.
The Cascade Middle School has been designated as an emergency shelter coordinated by the local Red Cross. The Deschutes County Fairgrounds has been designated as a livestock shelter for those needing a place to keep livestock.
FOR FIRE INFORMATION call 541-550-4850Tweets about “#TWOBULLSFIRE”
Just after 7 p.m., residents of the Skyliner area were also being evacuated:
EVAC NOTICE: All residents living on Skyliners Road west of the City of Bend, are now being evacuated. FOR FIRE INFORMATION CALL (541) 550-4850.
Officials say the cause of the fires is under investigation.
It was an early start to wildfire season in central Oregon.
KTVZ and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
OPB | Feb. 22, 2017