Wildfire in southern Oregon destroys homes, forces evacuations


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In this photo provided by South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership, smoke from a fire is seen Sunday, July 13, 2014, near Moccasin Hill, Ore. Officials say a fast-growing wildfire in southern Oregon has destroyed homes and forced dozens of evacuations. (AP Photo/South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership)


KLAMATH FALLS, Oregon — A fast-growing wildfire in southern Oregon has destroyed homes and forced dozens of evacuations, officials said.

The blaze erupted near Sprague River around 2 p.m. PDT Sunday and had mushroomed to about 4 ½ square miles by 1 a.m. Monday.

The South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership said the wildfire was burning through timber and brush in the town's Moccasin Hill neighborhood and has destroyed an undetermined number of homes and other structures.

Spokeswoman Erica Hupp said crews won't have more details about the types and numbers of structures burned until the scene can be accessed in daylight.

Because of the flames, crews "can't get into area to see what buildings were destroyed," she told The Associated Press.

Before sundown, Klamath County sheriff's deputies evacuated more than 100 people from homes along two roads in the area, Hupp said. There was no word of any injuries.

She said that the blaze has been growing steadily because of high winds and extremely dry conditions. But fire teams were hoping that higher late-night humidity would help slow its growth.

"They'll be working overnight to get a containment line" around the fire, she said.

The Red Cross has set up a shelter at a community center in Sprague River, which is about 25 miles northeast of Klamath Falls.

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