- Associated Press - Thursday, August 18, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Oregon’s wildfire season is picking up just as much of the state endures a stretch of triple-digit heat.

A fire west of Sunriver led officials to warn people in a subdivision they might have to evacuate. In south-central Oregon, campers Thursday were ordered to leave campgrounds along the Chewaucan River because of a wildfire burning near Paisley in the Fremont-Winema National Forest. Some homes in that sparsely populated area also fell under the evacuation alert.

In Eastern Oregon, crews set intentional blazes to rob the Rail fire of fuel as it burns about 10 miles southwest of Unity. The wildfire that has scorched 37 square miles produced a large column of smoke that could be seen from Baker City.

Firefighters in the coming days won’t have comfortable conditions to battle the flames. The forecast calls for temperatures near or above 100 in Western Oregon and it’ll be in the 90s east of the Cascades. The fire near Sunriver was relatively small, less than a square mile, but its location near the resort community got attention.

Crews worked through the night and continued to focus on the southeast corner, the direction the fire had been moving and an area with homes, said Patrick Lair, spokesman for Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center. Crews got a line around the fire at about 2:30 a.m. Thursday and did back-burning through the night.



The fire northwest of Paisley spread to more than 3 square miles. It started Wednesday afternoon and grew fast because of gusty winds, high temperatures and low humidity.

The town of Paisley, population about 250, remains under a low-level warning, with people asked to make preparations in case an evacuation becomes necessary. The situation is a little more serious for seven homes on Mill Street, where residents were warned to be ready to evacuate.

Three other fires in Lake County, which borders California and Nevada, were small and posed no threat.

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