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Mop up begins on human-caused Oregon wildfire

 Posted: 10:25 AM June 10, 2014

BEND, Ore. — Firefighters worked Tuesday to strengthen fire lines encircling a wildfire that threatened homes outside the central Oregon city of Bend.

Fire crews had a containment line all the way around the Two Bulls fire, and they were mopping up hotspots and laying hose lines to prevent it from escaping in case winds got stronger, said Lisa Clark, spokeswoman for the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center. Smoke was clearing, and the fire was 25 percent contained at 10.6 square miles of mostly private timberland on the eastern outskirts of Bend.

An evacuation order remained in effect for about 50 scattered rural homes.

Fire investigators said the blaze was started by people, beginning at two locations on private timberland near Tumalo Reservoir. Cascade Timberlands has offered a $2,000 reward for information on how the fire started Saturday afternoon.

The area where the fire started has no developed campgrounds, but it is a popular place for parties, Clark said.

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. The costs to date were estimated at $2.4 million.

Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Capt. Shane Nelson said they were considering whether to lift the evacuation order affecting about 50 homes in the Skyliners road area. About 200 other homes were under alerts to be ready to leave. Three schools in that area remained closed.

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