UPDATED Monday, July 10
SANTA MARIA, Calif. — Wildfires barreled across the baking landscape of the western U.S. and Canada, destroying a smattering of homes, forcing thousands to flee and temporarily trapping children and counselors at a California campground.
Here's a look at the wildfires blackening the West.
Firefighters continue to battle a 3,200-acre fire near the Lodge at Summer Lake in south-central Oregon.
The Ana Fire has destroyed two structures: one outbuilding and a hunting cabin. The fire is burning on private land and acreage managed by multiple agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The Oregon State Police said travelers should expect delays on Oregon 31. TripCheck showed an estimated delay of 20 minutes to two hours on the highway early Monday morning.
A different fire that started burning shortly before noon Sunday in central Oregon scorched about 1,000 acres by late afternoon, fire officials said.
The Lone Pine fire, which initially was burning mostly in brush and grass, is on the Crooked River National Grassland east of Gray Butte, according to the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center. Authorities are investigating what caused the fire.
Skull Hollow Campground visitors were informed about the blaze but weren't told to leave. Authorities closed part of Lone Pine Road to accommodate fire traffic.
Also Sunday, a fire ignited west of Sisters just before 1 a.m., according to the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center.
By 10 a.m., it had spread to about five acres just off Forest Service Road 11 — Indian Ford. Fire crews cut it off and were mopping up Sunday morning. Fire officials expect that work to continue into Monday.
The public should avoid the area if possible due to slowdowns on Forest Service Road 11, east of Black Butte due to fire engines and crews working on the road.
In northwest Oregon, the fire season officially opens on Monday on all 16 million acres of public and private forestland protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry statewide, a release from ODF said.
Fire season is declared by local ODF district officials when conditions in a district have created the potential for significant wildfire. Monday's declaration affects Tillamook, Columbia, Clatsop and western Yamhill and Washington counties. Because of its wetter, cooler climate, the northwest corner of Oregon is often the last area of the state to enter fire season. Fire season began five weeks ago in ODF districts in southern and parts of eastern Oregon.
Throughout Oregon, there have been 273 fires reported statewide on land protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. That's about the average number for this date over the past decade. Only about 15 of those fires have been in northwest Oregon.
Although the number of fires is close to average, a below average number of acres have burned so far this season. As of July 7, only about 370 acres were reported to have burned compared to the 10-year average of 2,198 acres by this time of year.
Fire season restrictions vary by locale and fire danger level. For the latest about restrictions in a particular location, check the ODF's fire restrictions webpage.
Two major wildfires in California have forced nearly 8,000 people out of their homes.
About 4,000 people evacuated and another 7,400 were told to prepare to leave their homes as fire swept through grassy foothills in the Sierra Nevada, about 60 miles north of Sacramento, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Sunday.
The fire has burned nearly 4 square miles, injured four firefighters and destroyed at least 10 structures, but that number is expected to rise, fire spokeswoman Mary Ann Aldrich said.
The area burning was southeast of Oroville, where spillways in the nation's tallest dam began crumbling from heavy rains this winter and led to temporary evacuation orders for 200,000 residents downstream.
"It leaves you feeling like you can't catch a break," said Sharon Reitan, who sought shelter at an evacuation center with her boyfriend Sunday night.
They were in Oroville on Friday afternoon when the fire broke out and roads to their hillside home were blocked. They later saw photographs of their home burned to the ground.
"The road that we live on was hit hard," Reitan said. "We're in shut down mode right now, it's so devastating."
The fire was 20 percent contained. It was one of 14 wildfires across California that about 5,000 firefighters battled Sunday.
In Southern California, at least 3,500 people evacuated as two fires exploded in size at separate ends of Santa Barbara County and a third one threatened homes near a town in San Luis Obispo County.
One of the fires grew to 12 square miles, traversing a mountain range and heading south toward coastal Goleta.
There was minimal containment, and flames shut down State Route 154, which is expected to remain closed for days. At least 20 structures burned, but officials didn't say if they were homes.
The fire broke out near a campsite and sent hundreds of campers scrambling, including about 90 children and 50 staff members at the Circle V Ranch who had to take shelter until they could be safely evacuated.
Amayah Madere told KCBS-TV she was in the pool when a counselor told the children to get out and change in a hurry. She said they waited in a dining hall while firefighters fought the fire and the counselors sprayed down the area with water.
"I prayed that if I didn't die I would go to church, and right when I prayed the firefighters came," Madere said.
Crews were also using an air attack against another blaze about 50 miles north that exploded in size to 37.5 square miles. About 200 rural homes east of Santa Maria were evacuated after the fire broke out Saturday and was fed by dry gusts.
Some of the firefighters working to contain that blaze were sent to nearby San Luis Obispo County when a fire broke out Sunday and threatened numerous structures near the town of Santa Margarita. Officials said the fire burned 340 acres.
Firefighters were contending with more than 200 wildfires burning in British Columbia that had destroyed dozens of buildings, including several homes and two airport hangars. The three biggest fires, which have grown in size to range from 9 to 19 square miles, had forced thousands of people to flee.
"We are just, in many ways, at the beginning of the worst part of the fire season and we watch the weather, we watch the wind, and we pray for rain," outgoing Premier Christy Clark told reporters in Kamloops.
Rob Schweizer, manager of the Kamloops Fire Centre, said it had been an unprecedented 24 hours.
"We probably haven't seen this sort of activity that involves so many residences and people in the history of the province of B.C.," he said.
ELSEWHERE IN THE WEST
Firefighters have been able to build containment lines around about half the wildfire that forced the evacuation of hundreds of people near Breckenridge, Colorado. The fire has not spread since it broke out Wednesday and was still less than a square mile Sunday.
In rural Arizona, fire officials say three homes were among 10 buildings that were burned. The wildfire there has led to the evacuation of the entire town of Dudleyville, about 100 miles southeast of Phoenix.
In Nevada, fire officials have ordered evacuations for a wildfire that is near the same area where another blaze has already burned for days.
— The Associated Press
Lynne Terry and Jim Ryan of The Oregonian/OregonLive staff contributed to this report
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