Wildfire in Central Oregon: at least 500 people evacuated

Another 1,000 residents were given a pre-evacuation notice on Thursday, meaning they might have to flee at a moment's notice.

The 200 homes in the Crossroads and Edgington neighborhoods were threatened by a more than 2-square-mile (5-square-kilometer) fire that started Sunday by lightning, said David Seesholtz of the Incident Command Team. The timber fire was about 6 miles (10 kilometers) from the town of Sisters, popular with recreational tourists, and about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the evacuated neighborhoods, the AP reports.

Governor Ted Kulongoski ordered that all necessary state resources, including air tankers, be made available to fight the fire. Two Oregon National Guard helicopters were dispatched.

Areas of California's vast Los Padres National Forest, where lightning has sparked at least two dozen wildfires in the past week, were closed Thursday. About 375 square miles (960 square kilometers) of land that included at least six campgrounds, an off-road vehicle trail and deer hunting territory were ordered closed indefinitely.