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Columbia River Gorge fire quickly grows to 500 acres, prompting evacuations 13 August 2020

Columbia River Gorge fire quickly grows to 500 acres, prompting evacuations 13 August 2020

Columbia River Gorge fire quickly grows to 500 acres, prompting evacuations 13 August 2020

The Oregon Department of Forestry tweeted about the fire near Mosier Creek Road at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
At about 7 p.m. department spokesperson Christie Shaw estimated the Mosier Creek Fire at about 50 acres, but by about 8:15 the forestry department said it had increased to 200 acres - and less than two hours later, the Wasco County Sheriff's Office said on Facebook it had grown to about 500 acres.
Shaw said the blaze started as crews were mopping up another fire in the same area along Interstate 84 near Mosier. She said crews contained that fire at about 2 acres.
Shaw said investigators do not immediately know the cause of either fire.
Winds caused the second fire to spread, and around 6 p.m., the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office issued evacuation orders for people who live on several roads in the Mosier area. Other nearby residents were told to be ready to evacuate if necessary.
Shaw said the department of forestry estimates about 200 structures are threatened by the fire.
The Shilo Inn in The Dalles was made available as a shelter location for people evacuating because of the fire, the sheriff’s office said.

Governor Kate Brown Invokes the Emergency Conflagration Act in Response to the Mosier Creek Fire
 (Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act in response to the Mosier Creek fire that broke out in Wasco County this evening. The fire is currently threatening 300 homes, and residents of Osburne Cutoff, Vensel, Catron, Dry Creek, Carroll, Morgenson, and from Chenoweth Airport to Vensel/Ketchum road are on level 3 evacuations. Oregon State Fire Marshal will assume command tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. and will work to bring resources from counties around Oregon to assist in the response. Oregon State Fire Marshal will be working under unified command with Oregon Department of Forestry.

"With high temperatures and weather conditions helping fires grow quickly, I have invoked an emergency declaration to make more state resources available to the fire crews on the front lines in Wasco County and the Columbia River Gorge at the Mosier Creek fire," Governor Brown said. "I ask Oregonians to remember that preventing wildfires is critical this year, especially as we have fire crews on the frontlines during this pandemic. Be cautious and honor all burn bans, and keep our fire crews in your thoughts as they fight to protect our communities and the landscapes that surround them."

In accordance with ORS 476.510 - 476.610, Governor Brown determined that a threat to life, safety, and property exists due to the fire, and the threat exceeds the firefighting capabilities of local firefighting personnel and equipment.

The Governor's declaration authorizes the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal to mobilize resources to assist local resources battling the fire.


Fire danger levels will be on the rise in Oregon, with a warming trend this weekend into next week. Residents are asked to take extra precautions to prevent human-caused wildfires. Oregonians are encouraged to take extra care when preparing for road trips and outdoor adventures that include securing and maintaining vehicles before hitting the road and checking on all campfire and local restrictions at intended destinations .

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