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Fire In Wasco County Prompts Evacuations


Firefighters from the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District, U.S. Forest Service, local fire districts and landowners have quickly responded to a wildfire near Friend, Oregon. Firefighters continued operations into the night. The fire is currently burning with moderate-to-high spread, estimated at 1500+ acres in grass and timber fuel types at this time. Containment is at 0%.

The Larch Creek Fire is located 5 miles southwest of Dufur, near Friend. It is burning southeast of Winslow Road in Township 2S Range 13E, which is west of Highway 197.

Last reported resources: 8 engines, 20 person hand crew from USFS Mt Hood, 4 dozers, local landowner resources, and multiple air resources. A type 3 Central Oregon Fire Management Service team has been ordered and is in route.

With high temperatures, low humidity, and difficult terrain, suppression efforts are requiring diverse methods of attack, prioritizing safety while protecting life and structure foremost. Increased winds are playing a significant factor in fire behavior. No structures have been reported lost.
Evacuations: Level 3 – GO NOW – Evacuate from Clark Miller Road east to Elliott Rd., North to Kingley-Friend Market Rd., South to Badger Creek Rd. Level 2 – BE SET to evacuate from the following areas: Mc Corkle Rd south to Happy Ridge Rd, East to J Hix Rd, West to FS Rd 2700. Level 1 – BE READY in Tygh Valley, Pine Hollow, and Wamic. East of Elliott Rd to Hwy 197, South to Dufur Gap Rd and Kingsley Rd. East at Shadybrook Rd, West to Threemile Rd, North to Badger Creek Rd, South to White River Rd/Wamic Rd.

The Wasco County Fairgrounds is a temporarily designated evacuation point for livestock. A Red Cross Evacuation Shelter is opened at Maupin High School. or the Wasco County Facebook page:

The fire started sometime around 2:00 pm on Tuesday, July 09, 2024. The cause is under investigation. The area remains under a Red Flag Warning for critical fire weather. On Tuesday, temperatures reached 107 degrees. Gusty winds are expected to continue into Wednesday.The Oregon State Fire Marshal mobilized four structural task forces and its green incident management team. Three structural task forces will be briefed at 6:00 a.m. Wednesday morning with another task force joining later in the afternoon.

“The heat wave that has gripped Oregon significantly increased the fire danger across the state. The continued hot, dry conditions, and gusty winds are a dangerous combination,” Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Travis Medema said. “I am asking everyone to do what they can to prevent sparking a wildfire.”

Tuesday night, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act for the fire which allows the state fire marshal to mobilize state resources to protect life and property.

Following ORS 476.510-476.610, Governor Kotek determined that threats to life, safety, and property exist because of the fire, and the threats exceed the capabilities of local firefighting personnel and equipment.

For the latest on evacuations, follow the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office.

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