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Lightning Sparks New Wildfires In Oregon

Fire officials say a fast-moving fire in southwest Oregon grew substantially Thursday and has spread across the border into California.

Authorities in Jackson County have told Oregon residents in a community near Ashland to leave their homes immediately.

The Department of Forestry says the Oregon Gulch fire had scorched about 5,300 acres, or about 8 square miles, in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument by about 9 p.m. Thursday.

The lightning-sparked fire was reported at about 100 acres earlier in the day.

Forestry spokesman Brian Ballou said the blaze grew throughout the day, fueled by swirling winds and extremely dry conditions.

He says fire officials hope the winds will die down so firefighters can make progress overnight in establishing a line around the fire.

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