BEND (AP) — An evacuation order has been lifted for about 50 scattered rural homes in central Oregon as crews mop up a wildfire near Bend that has burned nearly 11 square miles, fire officials said late Tuesday.
The Two Bulls fire was 40 percent contained and fire lines were holding despite strong afternoon winds, according to the Central Oregon Fire Information Center. No structures have been lost. Investigators say the fire that started at two locations Saturday near Tumalo Reservoir was human-caused, and a reward for information leading to a conviction has grown to $4,500.
So far, the firefighting effort has cost $3 million.
On Tuesday afternoon, firefighters scrambled to extinguish another wildfire on the outskirts of Bend. A lookout on Lava Butte spotted the smoke about 4 miles from the southern flank of the Two Bulls Fire, said fire spokeswoman Lisa Clark. Helicopter and engine crews quickly put it out.
Investigators already trying to track down the people responsible for the Two Bulls fire will also be investigating this one, Clark said.
Earlier Tuesday, fire crews had a containment line all the way around the Two Bulls fire, and they were laying hose lines to prevent it from escaping, Clark said. The fire has burned mostly private timberland on the eastern outskirts of Bend.
With no other major wildfires burning in the Northwest, fire bosses were able to get all the personnel and equipment they needed, Clark said. That included 1,018 personnel, 11 bulldozers, 77 engines and six helicopters.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.