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Growing fire near Rowena, Oregon forces families to evacuate

Photo from KGW
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POSTED: Thursday, August 7, 2014 - 8:00am

UPDATED: Thursday, August 7, 2014 - 8:04am

Firefighters told residents of 70 homes in Oregon's Columbia Gorge community of Rowena to evacuate on Wednesday.

Another 100 homes in the area were on notice to be ready to go.

The Rowena fire began in brush Tuesday night and spread to about 200 acres of timber and scrub oak in weather conditions that had fire officials worried.

Firefighters feared the Rowena fire would spread as the gorge's famed winds kicked up to as much as 40 mph Wednesday.

"We've got a challenging fire on our hands," fire spokesman Justin de Ruyter said. "We're going to be at the mercy of Mother Nature today."

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