(Update: Recorded livestream video, Level 3, 1 evacuations; Hwy. 97 closed; Red Cross evacuation site)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — A fast-spreading wildfire threatened Bend’s north end late Saturday afternoon, having started near Highway 97 and Fort Thompson Lane, and soon prompting the most widespread evacuations in recent Bend history.
The fire was reported around 4:30 p.m. and brought a quick call-up of a structural protection firefighting task force.
By 6 p.m., Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies tweeted that Level 3 GO NOW evacuation notices had been issued for all homes north of Cooley Road and east of Highway 97. The Juniper, Hilltop and Four Seasons mobile home parks had been evacuated.
Level 1 (BE READY) pre-evacuation notices were issued for the J.D. Estates subdivision.
The fire was moving through an auto wrecking yard east of Highway 97 after jumping the BNSF railroad tracks and a major ground and air attack on the flames was under way.
Large areas of homes on Bend’s northeast end were put under a Level 2 (GET READY) evacuation notice — and then a Level 3 (GO NOW) evacuation.
The American Red Cross at first set up a temporary evacuation site at Lava Ridge Elementary School on Cooley Road but later moved it to St. Francis of Assisi Church, 2450 NE 27th Street in Bend. People evacuated due to the wildfire and in need of assistance are encouraged to simply show up, as volunteers will provide information regarding support and assistance.
Highway 97 was closed between Cooley and Deschutes Market roads. Follow traffic updates at our TripCheck page.
We’ll have more details as they become available.
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