Portland grass fire destroys buildings, forces evacuations

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Authorities say a wind-driven grass fire in a residential neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, damaged five buildings, destroyed 50 cars in a parking lot and prompted evacuations.

Portland Fire and Rescue said Tuesday the fire was out and residents could return to their homes. No one was hurt.

The fire Monday created a plume of black smoke that was visible throughout much of the city during rush hour.

The blaze in a densely populated area of a big city is unusual and comes as a late-summer heat wave in the region was expected to push temperatures close to 100 degrees (38 Celsius) on Tuesday.

Fire authorities issued a burn ban effective immediately in the metropolitan area because of high temperatures, low rainfall and dry conditions.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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