Crews hold Substation Fire to nearly 79,000 acres, all evacuations lowered to level 1

    A farmer works to create a fire break with a tractor Thursday, July 19, 2018 to keep the Substation Fire from spreading. Firefighters held the fire to about 50,000 acres. (Photo: Chopper 2/KATU)

    THE DALLES, Ore. – Firefighters say they have made excellent progress in containing the Substation Fire, which has burned more than 79,100 acres of brush and farmland at the east end of the Columbia River Gorge.

    Fire officials say crews have the fire 82 percent contained, and they hope to have it fully contained today or tomorrow.

    Authorities lowered all evacuations to Level 1 on Sunday morning, according to the Sherman County Sheriff’s office.

    The fire broke out Thursday, prompting several evacuations for rural communities in Sherman and Wasco counties.

    One death has been attributed to the fire. At least four houses were destroyed and four more were damaged.

    The cause is still under investigation, however, the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office said it is “incendiary in nature.” | READ MORE

    Crews say the fire has slowed enough that some firefighters from around the state are allowed to go home. Others say they are already headed to the next fire.

    “Kind of all the time, as soon as we get back home we're thinking about the next one,” said Brent Sheldon of Portland Fire & Rescue.

    Several crews are likely headed to Southern Oregon now to fight the Garner Complex.

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