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Central Oregon Wildfire Causes 120 Home Evacuations

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File photo of a wildfire. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

File photo of a wildfire. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A new central Oregon wildfire that quickly grew to cover half a square mile has prompted the evacuation of about 120 homes in several subdivisions.

Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center spokeswoman Lisa Clark said the Stagecoach fire started Monday afternoon northeast of Gilchrist. About 35 firefighters were battling that fire, which was about 10 percent contained by Monday night. More fire crews were expected Tuesday.

Five air tankers dropped retardant Monday afternoon.

No structures have burned and the cause is under investigation, Clark said.

Meanwhile, a fire that has burned 20,000 to 25,000 acres — or 31 to 39 square miles — on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation of central Oregon was estimated to be 20 percent contained.

A couple dozen people remained evacuated from their homes, fire spokesman Clay Penhollow estimated Monday night.

The fire began Saturday and surged Sunday afternoon when it started small spot fires in the grass, sagebrush and juniper that marks the high-desert reservation south of Mount Hood, and then winds kicked up to push the flames.

The fire bypassed a reservation resort without causing damage, Penhollow said.

Temperatures are expected to peak in the high 90s through Thursday.

One abandoned homestead dwelling was reported burned. Penhollow said it had been used as an outbuilding. No serious injuries were reported.

Fire crews protected the Kah-Nee-Ta resort. The main lodge was already closed by an unrelated fire that started Thursday in the kitchen and caused extensive damage.

In a statement Monday night, the resort said it hoped to reopen Tuesday if firefighting efforts made that possible.

“We are so thankful for the hard work and the courage of our firefighters,” said resort General Manager Carlos Smith. “They worked tirelessly through the weekend. I don’t know where we’d be without them.”

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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