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A grass fire burns near Umatilla on Monday, Sept. 7, 2020.

Umatilla Rural Fire Protection determined that power lines knocked loose by high winds were the cause of the Monday, Sept. 7, fire that caused evacuations on the south side of Umatilla.

A news release from the district stated the power lines went down in the “general area of Scaplehorn Road,” which connects to the north side of Highway 730 across from the highway’s intersection with Powerline Road to the south.

The release stated that the first fire crew on scene, at about 5 p.m., found the Encore Wellness clinic near the road was “experiencing impending flames.”

While the fire was brought under control and mutual aid crews were sent home in the early morning hours of Sept. 8, some customers of Umatilla Electric Cooperative and Pacific Power in the area did not see their power restored until Sept. 9.

The fire also knocked out internet to many households, but on Sept. 9 Eastern Oregon Telecom reported on its Facebook page that most services were back online, or “at least partially restored.”

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