Evacuation levels lowered for fire near Sisters

The Akawana fire is 60 percent contained

The Akawana Fire is burning 13 miles north of Sisters. (KOIN)

BEND, Ore. (AP) – The Oregon Department of Forestry says it has lowered evacuation notices for many homes near a wildfire in central Oregon.

The Akawana fire was ignited by lightning Tuesday and grew to 2,000 acres north of the town of Sisters, near Lake Billy Chinook. On Friday, the forestry department said it is now 60 percent contained.

Level two evacuation notices – which means to be set to go at a moment’s notice – have been lowered to level one in a subdivision but some other homes remain at level two.

The department says its fire-behavior analyst, Mike Haasken, told firefighters that forest fuels remain very dry despite cooler weather. Firefighters using hand tools and a bulldozer have established containment lines and will be strengthening them, and mopping up hot spots.

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