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Winds shift, evacuation levels increase on Cherry Heights

Red Cross closes shelter

— Winds have shifted toward the northwest over the Blackburn Fire this afternoon, prompting fire commanders to increase the evacuation level on houses at the end of Cherry Heights Road near Wells Road from Level I "Ready" to Level II "Get set," according to David Morman a spokesman at the Government Flats Fire Complex incident command.

The fire had lost a bit of momentum yesterday in the Reservoir Road-upper Mill Creek Road area thanks to calmer winds and fire officials were hoping the fire would burn slowly downhill into that corner and eventually die down. Now, Morman said, they are worried the fire will retain some on these winds from the east, road back to life, then shift again.

Some 862 detailed to the fire this afternoon.

The American Red Cross closed the shelter located at Dry Hollow Elementary School in The Dalles at 4 p.m. today. The Red Cross response team was activated last Sunday in response to the nearby wildfire, and the shelter was opened to assist people affected by the disaster.

Community members affected by the wildfire, and in need of assistance, can still contact the Red Cross Cascades Region by calling the 24-hour number at 888-680-1455. Additionally, Red Cross staff members will be available at The Dalles office located at 507 W. 9th Street in The Dalles.

To date, Red Cross has served nearly 500 meals and snacks, and delivered 1,000 N-95 particulate respirator masks to Wasco County Public Health for distribution to community members.

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