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Oregon wildfire forces evacuations in prime eclipse zone

The Milli fire burns just southwest of the town of Sisters. The Three Sisters Mountains can be seen just below the smoke on the left. Taken at 11:30 am 18 August, 2017. Photo by Dan Morrison, Oregon News Lab

SISTERS, Ore. (AP) — About 600 residents are under evacuation orders in a prime eclipse-viewing location in Oregon threatened by a wildfire that has closed access to part of a wilderness area and a regional highway.

Fire officials said Saturday another 1,000 residents near the tourist town of Sisters have been told to be ready to leave if necessary.

Crews are expecting a tough day with winds gusting to more than 20 mph.

Some campsites and recreational areas are also shut down due to the 12-square-mile (31-square kilometer) wildfire in the Deschutes National Forest that jumped fire lines Friday.

Officials say the blaze is producing heavy smoke while burning in forests at higher elevations and in sagebrush at lower areas.

The fire started late last week. Its cause is under investigation.

The solar eclipse will occur Monday.

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