Dufur — All evacuation levels for the South Valley Fire near Dufur have been reduced to Level 1 (Get Ready). There are 212 homes threatened by the fire with 636 people under a Level 1 evacuation, according to a news release from the Oregon Fire Marshall on Monday.
The State Fire Marshal has stated that at least three primary structures and 15 outbuildings have been lost. The southeast portion of the South Valley fire has cooled and crews were reassigned to work through the night on mopping up hot spots and burning stumps, especially around structures in the north end of the fire. Fire fighters are focused on mopping up 75-150 feet inward from the perimeter of fire. It is estimated that there is approximately 50 miles of fire perimeter. Much of the line is cool, with the heat concentrated north of the Hix and Friend roads areas.
The fire meteorologist is predicting hotter and windy conditions later this week. The more heat that fire fighters can extinguish now lessens the threat of the fire rekindling in the future.
Fire fighters are seeing “dust or ash devils.” This occurs when solar heating hits the ground and the unstable atmosphere creates a whirlwind. This is a concern to fire fighters as the whirlwind can pick up hot burning embers and carry it over the fire line where a new fire could start outside the perimeter. Today’s weather conditions are such that the probability of ignition is high for a new start. Fire fighters will be watching both sides of the fire line.
Yesterday, resources were diverted from this incident to respond as initial attack on a new fire in Prineville named the Allen Fire. The fire was reported in the early afternoon and reported to be growing quickly. Three fire managers, one 20 person hand crew, two 5 person hand crews, four Type 6 engines and two water tenders, along with two black hawk helicopters,were sent. This quick response kept the fire under 30 acres. It is currently 100 percent lined and in mop-up.
Wasco County Sheriff lowered all evacuation areas to Level 1 as of Sunday, Aug. 5. For details on evacuation orders visit Wasco County Sheriff’s Facebook page. Currently there are no road closures in effect. Should the evacuation level change and shelter is needed, the Red Cross is available to provide shelter support to those displaced. They can be contacted at 1-888-680-1455.