(Updates on evacuation levels, other details)
REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Numerous firefighters from several agencies, including three structure-protection task forces, rushed to tackle a new wildfire that broke out Wednesday afternoon off Southwest Obsidian Avenue west of Redmond, prompting evacuations in the area. Forward progress was reported stopped within about two hours.
The fire was reported around 2:50 p.m. in the 4800 block of Southwest Obsidian Avenue. It was reported to be a fast-moving fire, threatening a barn. Within an hour, roadblocks had been erected and people were leaving the area.
Level 3 “Go Now” evacuations were called for residents north of Obsidian Avenue, south of Highway 126, west of Helmholtz Avenue and east of 58th Street, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office said, also asking others to avoid the area.
Around 4:40 p.m., the sheriff’s office said there also was a Level 1 “Get Ready” pre-evacuation alert for the area west of Helmholtz, south of Obsidian Avenue and east of 55th Place, following the Central Oregon Irrigation District ditch, south to Helmholtz and Wickiup Avenue.
Highland Baptist Church was set up as a temporary evacuation point. For updated info, go to http://www.deschutes.org/emergency.
Oregon Department of Forestry spokeswoman Christie Shaw said forward progress of the fire had been stopped by 4:30 p.m. and it was reported to have burned about 10 acres.
Redmond Fire Marshal Tom Mooney told NewsChannel 21 on scene that those told to leave were urged not to even pack a bag but to get out now and go to a friend’s or family member’s homes.
The fire broke out in a field, but the cause is being investigated, Mooney said.
The fire damaged three outbuildings and led to the call-out of three structure-protection task forces involving 11 fire agencies across the region.
Shaw said two ODF and two BLM engine crews were called to the scene, along with a 20-person initial attack crew. They assisted Redmond firefighters and task-force agencies from as far away as Sunriver, Alfalfa and Crook County tackling the blaze.
NewsChannel 21 reporter Kelsey McGees and photojournalist Tyson Beauchemin are on the scene and will have live reports at 5 and 6.
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