Wildfire forces closure of Kah-Nee-Ta resort

Wildfire forces closure of Kah-Nee-Ta resort

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by KGW.com staff

kgw.com

Posted on July 23, 2013 at 5:17 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 23 at 5:17 AM

MADRAS, Ore -- Mandatory evacuations are in effect as crews in central Oregon battle a fast-growing 25,000-acre wildfire on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation near Kah-Nee-Ta resort.

The north side of the fire "escaped" Sunday and headed toward the Charlie Canyon and Wolfe Point residential areas. Around 120 people from 40 homes were evacuated.  

The fire was only 20 percent contained Monday afternoon and crews said it was moving erratically. More than 400 firefighters were expected to be at the fire by Monday night. 

On Sunday, the fire threatened the Kah-Nee-Ta resort and by Monday, the entire resort was evacuated and closed.

Grant Biehler of Tigard was vacationing with his family at the resort when they had to leave.

"I looked up on the ridge and I saw the fire," Biehler said. "I saw the  fire and we were all like, oh my gosh, the fire is coming down towards the resort. We decided to get out of Dodge."

An unrelated kitchen fire forced Kah-Nee-Ta to close its main lodge Thursday. 

People in the nearby town of Sunnyside were working to create fire lines to keep the flames from their homes.

Firefighters said it may have been sparked by a lit cigarette.

 

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