Canyon Creek Fire forces Prairie City evacuations

Residents on the south side of town must evacuate

Smoke looms over the town of Prairie City, August 29, 2015 (KOIN)
Smoke looms over the town of Prairie City, August 29, 2015 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Winds moved the Canyon Creek wildfire toward Prairie City overnight Friday and into Saturday, briefly forcing level three evacuations for residents on the south side of town.

The Mt. Vernon Grange Hall was opened as an evacuation shelter. .

The Mt. Vernon Grange, August 29, 2015 (KOIN)
The Mt. Vernon Grange, August 29, 2015 (KOIN)

About 15 miles of homes were under the evacuation order, extending from Highway 62 toward Canyon City. Law enforcement officials said Highway 62 was closed to all vehicles except homeowners and fire teams.

Crews were quickly redeployed to strengthen lines in the area, and residents were allowed to return.

People on the north side of town are under a level two evacuation order, which means they must be prepared to leave if necessary.

Fire crews are trying to establish a dozer line south of Prairie City to stop the fire from scorching the town of 900 people.

Flames consumed another home Friday afternoon, bringing to 40 the number of homes destroyed by the Canyon Creek Complex. It has burned more than 86,000 acres near John Day.

Meanwhile, a human-caused fire that began at a state park campground in central Oregon quickly grew to 200 acres, destroying two homes and several outbuildings.

The Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center says a state police fire investigator will look into the specific cause of the blaze. It ignited Saturday at Cove Palisades State Park north of Bend.

About 60 people were evacuated from a small subdivision west of Culver.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Prairie City Ranger Station warning residents of extreme fire danger, August 29, 2015 (KOIN)
The Prairie City Ranger Station warning residents of extreme fire danger, August 29, 2015 (KOIN)

 

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