PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The wildfire burning near Dufur has grown exponentially in the last 24 hours, leading Oregon Governor Kate Brown to enact the Emergency Conflagration Act.
The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office says the Wrentham Market Fire is about 10,000 acres large as of early Wednesday morning, growing greatly from the 150-200 acres first reported on Tuesday evening. The conflagration act allows for the State Fire Marshal to mobilize firefighters and necessary equipment from other areas to supplement their efforts.
Officials are still working to determine an updated containment level. It remains unclear how the fire started.
As of Tuesday evening, the blaze was threatening about 20 residential buildings and outbuildings. At least one barn has been destroyed. Between 70 and 100 residents were in the evacuation area at that time, but those numbers are expected to be updated later today.
“With high temperatures and weather conditions helping fires grow quickly, I have invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act to make more state resources available to the fire crews on the front lines in Wasco County at the Wrentham Market Fire,” Governor Brown said. “I want to reiterate that preventing wildfires is critical this year, especially as we already have entered an early season with several fires burning across the state. I’m asking all Oregonians to be cautious, be safe, and to honor all burn bans.”
According to the governor’s office, the Office of the State Fire Marshal’s Red Incident Management Team has been mobilized, as well as three structural task forces Multnomah, Washington, and Yamhill Counties. Oregon State Police troopers with The Dalles station have also been on the scene to assist.
Earlier in the day, Brown announced she had declared a state of emergency due to wildfire danger.
Over the past week, a historic heatwave rolled through the Pacific Northwest, bringing high temperatures and worsening already dry conditions. Although we’ve now passed the threshold of three-digit temperature days, there is still no rain in the extended forecast. The governor says much of the state is in high or extreme fire danger with red flag warnings in effect.Brown declares drought state of emergency in eastern Oregon
A total of 19 counties are already in declared drought emergencies. The governor said this extreme heat is just adding to the already challenging landscape firefighters will have to face.
KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this developing story.