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Heat and winds loom as obstacles to Oregon firefighters

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • NEW: Authorities estimate the fire has torn through 1,850 acres
  • NEW: The weather forecast is daunting for firefighters
  • Red Cross: About 50 homes might be evacuated
  • The cause of the fire remains unknown

(CNN) -- A wildfire blazing for a second day in Oregon had consumed about 1,850 acres, and although firefighters "made good progress putting in a containment line" overnight, weather conditions were poised to hamper fire containment Tuesday afternoon, the Oregon Department of Forestry said.

"With temperatures expected in the low 90s and the potential for afternoon wind, the challenge will be holding this perimeter line through the heat of the day," the forestry department said in its morning update.

The Rooster Rock fire started around midday Monday in Deschutes National Forest, south of Sisters. The forestry department said the blaze grew quickly, stoked by 8 to 12 mph winds pushing it through a mix of sagebrush and ponderosa pine into both public and private forests.

Authorities in Deschutes County issued a precautionary evacuation alert for residents living roughly two miles west and two miles south of Plainview. The Red Cross set up a shelter at the Sisters Elementary School, anticipating about 50 homes would be evacuated. Nearby, Forest Road 16 has been shut down.

A temporary flight restriction is in place for five miles around the fire to 8,000 feet, as crews utilized helicopters and air tankers to fight the flames, said the forestry department. Dozens of firefighters were active on the ground, it added.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.