Wildfire SE of The Dalles destroys 1 home, outbuildings, grows to 20,000 acres

A structure burns in a wildfire east of The Dalles on Tuesday, July 17, 2018. (Photo: Chopper 2/KATU)

One home and several outbuildings were destroyed Tuesday in a wind-driven wildfire southeast of The Dalles that quickly grew to 20,000 acres, forcing officials to order evacuations.

Level 3 (Go Now) evacuations have been ordered for the following areas: 8 mile Road at Emerson Loop Road and Company Hollow Road; all of Wrentham Market and Mason roads, and late Tuesday night the sheriff's office issued Level 3 orders from Fifteen Mile Road, McCoy Road, Moody Road, Fulton Road, Kloan Road, Freebridge Road, Kelly Cutoff Road and all points between.

About 20 homes are in the areas under the evacuation orders.

The fire has also forced deputies in neighboring Sherman County to issue a Level 1 (Get Ready) evacuation notice for Grass Valley and the surrounding area. The sheriff's office said the fire has crossed the Deschutes River near Sayers Road.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, the Substation Fire started along Highway 197 and spread quickly, jumping two roads, burning through wheat and grass.

RAW VIDEO: Footage from Chopper 2 shows the extent of the fire:

Homeowners rushed to save their own homes, with flames just feet away from them, but the fire moved too fast for at least one home and several buildings.

"It's sad. Some of those homes have been here -- like my home. Mine is almost 100 years old, and it'll go up like a tinder," said Marcia LaDuke.

She was ready to leave at a moments notice, packing clothes, her passport and her Social Security card. She watched as the flames crept closer to her house.

"You can usually count on five or six fires every summer," she said.

Elsewhere, people rushed to rescue their livestock and horses and farmers got their equipment moving to try and save their own crops. One used to a tractor to carve a fire line in a wheat field just feet from the fire.

Highway 197 is currently open, but drivers are urged to use caution.

Video footage from Chopper 2 captured the wind creating what looked like a river of fire, with waves of flame pushing across the land:

According to the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office, crews have put out a fire in the Tygh Valley area of Shadybrook and Badger Creek.

A widespread power outage also affected south Wasco County, according to the Wasco Electric Cooperative Inc.

The Red Cross has set up a shelter at The Dalles Middle School for those displaced by the fire.

The sheriff's office said Home at Last will take care of dogs for free and the The Dalles Rider Club can help take care of other animals.

There is no estimate for the fire's containment.


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