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Governor declares Hagg Lake fire 'conflagration'

The Scoggins Creek Fire two miles northwest of Hagg Lake and eight miles west of Forest Grove had grown to an estimated 250 acres by early this morning, according to Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) officials.

About 32 homes were evacuated overnight, with some displaced residents taking shelter at Dilley Elementary School. Another 116 homes were placed on Level 1 evacuation status, meaning they should get ready to leave, said Forest Grove Fire Marshal Dave Nemeyer.

"We're waiting for the rain," said Nemeyer. "They say it's coming Tuesday."

Cause of the fire, which was uncontained by 4 a.m., is under investigation. The fire is on Stimson Lumber private property, officials said. That property is being used as an air supply base.

By nightfall, a total of 70 firefighters were battling the flames. Gov. John Kitzhaber declared the fire a conflagration late Friday night, mobilizing resources from across the state to assist.

Firefighters, dozer operators and engine crews were working to slow the fire spread while structural firefighters were staged to protect homes, officials said. They added that the weather Saturday could prove difficult, with expected high temperatures and wind.

ODF Incident Management Team 2 will begin work Saturday morning. On scene since Friday were crews from Gaston Rural Fire District, Washington County Fire District 2, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue, the Washington County Sheriff's Department, Washington County Parks, the Red Cross, and the local Oregon Department of Forestry.

Homes along Stepien Road have been evacuated. Scoggins Valley Park and Henry Hagg Lake have closed until further notice to assist with firefighting operations along Stepien Road, officials said. The lake is being used to get water for trucks and aircraft working the fire lines, according to the Gaston fire officials.

For evacuation information, call the sheriff's office at: 503-992-3242 (recording) or see Twitter: @forestgrovefire #scogginscreekfire.

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