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Aug-08-2014 20:30printcomments

740 Homes Threatened by Oregon Wildfire

Tonight, fire control work will focus on holding all constructed fire lines, continuing burnout operations, and conducting an infrared flight tonight over the fire.

Rowena Oregon Wildfire
A massive wildfire is burning in the Columbia River Gorge near the town of Rowena. Photo: Al Hayward Salem-News.com

(ROWENA, Ore. ) - Crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry and Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office worked throughout the day on Friday to conduct burnout operations and improve containment lines.

No structures were lost during Friday's operations, which focused on burning off dry fuel and creating defensible space around homes and outbuildings in the town of Rowena.

Despite a Red Flag Warning and high winds, incident commanders are extremely pleased with the progress crews made on the fire lines Friday.

"We have gone hard at this fire for all the right reasons," said Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Commander John Buckman. "We turned the corner today and things are looking much better."

Structural Protection:

In an ongoing effort to protect structures, firefighters used thermal imaging cameras (TICs) to identify hot spots on properties where the fire has burned a path up to the structure and then extinguished them.

Evacuations:

A total of 740 residences remain threatened at this time.

The Wasco County Sheriff's Office and incident commanders are evaluating the ongoing need for evacuations and will begin allowing residents back into their homes as soon as it is determined that it is safe for them to return.

Total residences impacted by the evacuation orders remain unchanged since Friday morning, and include 143 Level 3 and 597 Level 1.

Level-3:

4595 Hwy 30 west to 6464 Hwy 30, including Simonelli Rd, Tooley Terrace, Adeline Way and the Country Club.

Level-1:

Murray's Addition, Foley Lakes, residences along Chenowith Loop West. Also Division Street Development residences along Seven Mile Road.

An evacuation shelter has been set up by the Red Cross at Dry Hollow Elementary School located at 1314 E 19th, The Dalles, OR.

Fire Strategy for Friday Night:

Tonight, fire control work will focus on holding all constructed fire lines, continuing burnout operations, and conducting an infrared flight tonight over the fire.

Temperatures are expected to begin rising into the 90's on Sunday, so crews will continue to take advantage of cooler temperatures tonight and tomorrow to contain the fire. Safety officers are urging caution as some firefighters are encountering poison oak during the course of firefighter operations.

Unified Command:

The fire is being managed under a unified command between the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office and Oregon Department of Forestry. This Unified Command is working for ODF Central Oregon District, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and Mid Columbia Fire & Rescue.

Source: Oregon Department of Forestry




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