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Wildfire causes evacuations east of Redmond

Wildfire smoke wafts through an area of scrubby trees.
Central Oregon Fire Info
The McCaffery Fire started Saturday afternoon just east of the Redmond Airport.

UPDATE: At 9:15 p.m., the Crook County Sheriff's office said on Facebook that "the evacuation level for the area has been dropped to a level 2. People may go home for the night but be ready to evacuate again." Also, the Redmond Airport said on its website that the airport had reopened to passenger traffic. Passengers should check with their airline for the most up-to-date flight information.

Original story:

A wildfire just east of Redmond on Saturday led to evacuations in the Powell Butte area and has led to the temporary closure of the Redmond Airport.

As of 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, the McCaffery Fire was an estimated 250 acres, according to Central Oregon Fire Info, which said in a social media post that "retardant drops have slowed the spread of the fire."

Level 3 — GO NOW — evacuations remain in place for an area that straddles the Deschutes and Crook County Lines.

According to the Crook County Sheriff's Office, the evacuation zone includes the West Powell Butte View Estates. An evacuation shelter has been established at Powell Butte Christian Church. 13720 OR-126, Powell Butte.

As of 8 p.m., OR Highway 126 remained open for traffic, according to ODOT's TripCheck website.

While the fire itself is not directly impacting the Redmond Airport, the airport is closed to passenger airline traffic due to the firefighting efforts, according to an announcement on the airport's website.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”