Homes evacuated as 10,000-acre South Valley Fire burns structures near Dufur, Ore.
A fire broke out southwest of Dufur, Oregon Wednesday, forcing hundreds of nearby residents to evacuate their homes.
The wind-driven fire was first reported at 75 acres at about 2 p.m. Wednesday. As of about 10 p.m., the Oregon Dept. of Forestry said the South Valley Fire is burning an estimated 10,000 acres.
The fire burned across Highway 197, closing the highway for about 20 miles. From 1 mile south of Dufur to Tygh Valley area, near 216, but it reopened around 6:15 a.m. Thursday.
Level 3 (GO!) evacuations - The Wasco County Sheriff's Office says residents in the following areas need to leave now:
- 83000 blk of Rail Hollow Road to the forest boundary.
- Shell Rock Road to Winslow Road
- South Valley Road south to Friend Road
- Dufur Gap Road
- Hix Road, Kingsley Road and all points in between; from Hwy 197 to the forest boundary
- All of Tygh Ridge Road.
Level 2 (Get Set) evacuations:
- Area north of "the blinking light" (Hwy 197 & 216) to Conroy Road and the top of Sherar's Bridge. It includes Hulse Road.
The BLM is also evacuating people along the Deschutes River from Sandy Beach to Macks Canyon.
Officials said about 400 people are under a Level 3 evacuation and 80 structures are threatened by the flames.
Officials confirmed one structure was destroyed.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act to bring in more resources to help battle the fire. Several aerial support crews are dropping fire retardant to help firefighters on the ground.
According to the Oregon Department of Forestry spokeswoman Christie Shaw, the fire is human caused. Officials said they don't yet have specifics on how the fire started, but they have identified a point of origin.
About 150 people are on the fire line.
ODF has set up an incident command at Dufur School.
The Red Cross has set up a shelter for evacuees at The Dalles Middle School.
Flames have destroyed some structures in the area, based on aerial views from KATU Chopper 2:
Several community members have offered to help take in livestock and horses within the evacuated area: