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New blaze in Oregon nearly triples in size overnight, forcing evacuations

A new blaze in north-central Oregon nearly tripled in size overnight. The fire near the town of Dufur, about two hours southeast of Portland, spread to more than 23 square miles early Thursday. 

The Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office said dozens of structures were threatened — some have burned — and at least 400 people have been told to evacuate. 

The fire, caused by humans rather than lightning, began Wednesday afternoon. By nightfall, Gov. Kate Brown declared it a conflagration, which authorizes the fire marshal to mobilize statewide resources. 

CBS affiliate KOIN reports that firefighters and farmers have worked together to help protect each other's properties. Jeremy Gast worked alongside firefighters to safeguard his historic barn.

He said he fought with fear as the blaze, the South Valley Fire, surrounded his property south of Dufur. After hours of efforts to combat the blaze, he put out the last hot spot next to his barn, which was built in 1907.

"They were spraying the roof of the barn the whole time knowing that embers were landing on it and could fall through the cracks and burn down history," Gast told the station.

Jeremy Gast's barn, which was built in 1907.  KOIN

Gast is grateful for all the people who helped save his historic homestead, KOIN reported.

Wildfires are also continuing to burn across California. 

One massive blaze in the northern part of the state that has killed six people grew overnight, fueled by wind, according to fire officials. The fire burning for 11 days in and around the city of Redding is now 200 square miles. It is the sixth most destructive wildfire in California history and is threatening another 1,600 homes.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Thursday that firefighters made some gains and the blaze is now a third contained. 

Fire crews battling another two wildfires burning 170 miles southwest of Redding made some progress. CalFire said the blazes about 14 miles apart are threatening 12,000 homes. Firefighters increased containment of those fires to almost 40 percent.

California firefighters scramble to contain wildfires amid high winds 02:30
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