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Substation Fire grows to 36,000 acres

This map showing evacuation levels in the Substation Fire was posted on Facebook by the Sherman County Sheriff's Office at 3:37 p.m. on July 18.


This map showing evacuation levels in the Substation Fire was posted on Facebook by the Sherman County Sheriff's Office at 3:37 p.m. on July 18.



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The Substation Fire burns north of Highway 197 south of Dufur, viewed from Tygh Ridge. Mark B. Gibson photo

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Kylee VanOrman-Ruby shared these photos of the fire that destroyed her parents' home on Gary Roberts Market Road last night.

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An old hay rake sits in dry grass in Boyd, near Dufur, as the Substation fire burns south toward the Deschutes River Tuesday evening. Mark B. Gibson photo

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Smoke billows south of the Celilo Converter Station, east of Highway 197 near The Dalles, Tuesday afternoon in this view from Lambert Street.

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UPDATE: As of 1:36 p.m., July 18, the Substation Fire is now estimated at 36,000 acres. Wasco Electric reports that a minimum of 90 power poles have been lost and crews have been working through the night to get new poles up, work that is expected to continue through the weekend. Families in the fire zone southwest of The Dalles are reporting that the Gary Van Orman’s house at 6857 Robert’s Market Road has been destroyed by the fire.

The home of Mike and Judy Urness sustained water damage from firefighting efforts, but was saved; however, outbuildings and machinery, including a combine and trucks, were lost.

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The Wasco County Emergency Operations Center has established an information line for people to call. The number is 541-506-2792. Level 3 evacuation notices have been extended from Macks Canyon to the Mouth of the Deschutes River. We have units patrolling the area, including a boat going up river to notify hikers and boaters. Level 1 notice for Deschutes State Park/campground.

As of 11:50 a.m. Wednesday, the fire was estimated at 29,000 acres, and fire command is at Sherman High School in Moro.

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Residents of southeast Wasco County who have been displaced by the Substation Fire are now being sheltered by the Red Cross at The Dalles Middle School.

The fire, which started Tuesday afternoon, has now grown to 20,000 acres and torched a home and several outbuildings, according to a U.S. Forest Service report.

Wasco County Sheriff Lane Magill issued a Level 3 evacuation order, meaning “go now,” Tuesday evening for Eight Mile Road at Emerson Loop Road and Company Hollow Road, as well as all of Wrentham Market Road and Mason Road.

The evacuation notice was later expanded to everyone on Fifteen Mile Road, McCoy Road, Moody Road, Fulton Road, Kloan Road, Freebridge Road, Kelly Cutoff Road, and all points in between,

According to Sherman County Sheriff Brad Lohrey, the fire jumped the Deschutes River near Sayers Road, prompting a Level 1 evacuation notice, meaning “get ready for go” for residents of Grass Valley and Moro.

Twenty engines are helping with firefighting efforts. A “fire train” is on the way to bring 30,000 gallons of water to help fight the fire that rages through wheat fields and dry grasses.

Gov. Kate Brown has invoked the Conflagration Act for the fire, which will allow manpower and equipment from Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, and Central Oregon counties, to be used to battle the flames.



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