Bruce Schwartz looks out over a burned-out area where the Blackburn Fire, part of the Government Flats Fire Complex, jumped a fireline officials had hoped would keep the fire from threatening The Dalles water treatment plant and area homes, like the nearby home of his daughter Teal Everts.

Everts, at left, next to her Mill Creek home and the hillside that burned, watched the fire hit and jump the line.

“The whole top of the ridge flared up,” she said. “You could hear the guys yelling for help. Within a minute, the whole ridge was on fire. About halfway down, the fire slowed, and area residents helped fight the fire as it burned to the creek.” Everts later checked to make sure everyone was okay. “They were fine, I was so glad.”

For Everts, the fire may not yet be over.

“We are wetting and clearing the other [Mill Creek Road] side of the house. It looks like it’s coming back around,” she said Thursday afternoon. “It wants to get us coming and going.”

— Mark B. Gibson

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