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Oregon invokes emergency act to help battle fire

ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon's governor has invoked an emergency provision to free up state firefighting resources to battle a volatile, wind-driven blaze on the outskirts of Ashland.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski said Monday conditions represent a threat to life and property, so he has directed all available state resources to help contain the fire.

The fire had burned from 80 to 100 acres, but was driven by strong and gusting winds through very dry grass, brush and trees.

Authorities said the Bellview Elementary School and residents of several streets in the fire area were evacuated.

Respite centers were set up at the Baptist Church on Siskiyou Boulevard and the Ashland Armory.

There were reports of structures burned, but no immediate word on whether any of them were houses.

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