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Fire north of Bend prompts Level 3 evacuations

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has issued Level 3 evacuation orders, meaning “go now,” for residents north of Cooley Road and east of Highway 97 in Bend due to a growing wildfire. A map of the evacuation zones is available here.

The size of the fire was unknown as of Saturday evening, but hot temperatures and high winds could contribute to its spread. The forecast calls for high temperatures into the start of the week.

Photos on social media show an enormous plume of black smoke north of the Bend city center.

The sheriff’s office closed Highway 97 between Cooley Road and Deschutes Junction Saturday evening until further notice.

The Red Cross established an evacuation center at St. Francis of Assisi Church on Northeast 27th Street in Bend.

This story may be updated.

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Bradley W. Parks