Dufur, OR – The South Valley Fire was reported at 1:30 PM Wednesday afternoon burning in Ponderosa Pine, oak and wheat southwest of Dufur. The fire’s origin was off of South Valley Rd, southwest of Dufur. Afternoon winds pushed the fire more than 5 miles to the southeast and across Highway 197. The fire is currently estimated at 20,000 acres. Containment is at 5%.
The fire started on Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) protected lands. The incident is in unified command with ODF and the Oregon State Fire Marshal. Incident management teams from both agencies will take command today from the initial attack incident commander.
Yesterday’s initial attack resources worked extensively to suppress the fire and provide structure protection. Air resources included large air tankers, very large air tankers, Washington Department of Natural Resources FireBoss scoopers, ODF Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) and several helicopters. Ground resources totaled 150 firefighters, including crews and engines from ODF and the U.S. Forest Service, additional engines from Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue and other local rural fire departments, and contract dozers. Local ranchers were also engaged on the fire. Three task forces from the Oregon State Fire Marshal arrived on the fire in the evening to focus on structure protection, with three more task forces arriving this morning.
Firefighters remained on the fire throughout the night. A burn out operation along Tygh Ridge Road tied the southeast corner of the fire into recently burned Long Hollow Fire.
213 firefighters are on the fire today and will be supported by four dozers and 13 engines. Air resources will be called in again as needed and as visibility allows. Firefighters will be continuing to get additional containment while providing structure protection.
The State Fire Marshal has stated that at least one structure has been lost. State Fire Marshal personnel are in the field determining the extent of the fire’s impact to structures.
Wasco County Sheriff has implemented Level 3 evacuation orders. For details on evacuation orders, call 541-506-2792 or visit Wasco County Sheriff’s Facebook page. The Deschutes River remains accessible as of 10:00 a.m. this morning when a closure on Segment 3 was lifted, but boaters are reminded to use caution in the area as fire operations continue.
There are 80 homes threatened by the fire with 400 people under a Level 3 evacuation. A shelter is available in The Dalles for those displaced by the fire. Contact the Red Cross at 1-888-680-1455.
For additional information visit the fire web pages at: