Columbia River Gorge wildfire almost fully contained, crews say

Columbia River Gorge wildfire almost fully contained, crews say
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A human-caused wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge was reported to be almost fully contained Monday afternoon, about 24 hours after it was ignited.

The Rowena Fire burned about 15 acres of grass, scrub oak and ponderosa pine near the Wasco County community of Rowena, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry. Fire crews included firefighters on the ground, a federal helicopter and two tankers from the state of Washington.

The Oregon Department of Forestry said Monday evening that crews were still mopping up a few interior hot spots and extinguishing visible smokes, but there would be no night shift Monday.

The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office initially issued a Level 1 evacuation notice for residents of the area on Sunday evening, but called it off the next morning. A Level 1 notice tells residents to be prepared to leave.

The Oregon Department of Transportation closed Highway 30 in both directions, as well.

The Department of Forestry said the fire was caused by people, but the exact cause was under investigation.

—Jayati Ramakrishnan; 503-221-4320; [email protected]; @JRamakrishnanOR

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