Portland, OR -

Evacuation advisories for rural residences near wildfires in the Columbia Gorge have been lifted, and firefighters are being sent home or to other fires.

The Government Flats fires were ignited by lightning and detected Aug. 16.

At the height of firefighting efforts, residents of several hundred homes were told to leave. The advisories were gradually lifted, and fire officials said Tuesday that all had been ended.

Rain and cooler weather helped fire crews get a handle on the fires in an area of about 18 square miles, or 11,500 acres. The fire area hasn't grown in recent days, and it is considered 55 percent contained. Crew numbers have been dwindling and dropped below 800 people as of Tuesday morning.