Fire containment lines were drawn for the blaze covering about 10,500 acres near Maupin, but officials say the fire is 0% contained. Crews created dozer and hand lines along both the southeast and north side of the fire.
Officials said flames “spotted” into a field of wheat, but crews used back burning to contain it.
“As this wind picks up, and you get just the right condition with a little bit of heat addition to it, and then that stuff will take off. We had a couple of areas yesterday that took a run on us, we were able to catch those with some air resources but this fire is far from being completely extinguished,” said Larry Wooldridge of the state fire marshal team.
Gusty winds and ember showers created tough conditions for firefighters. Despite crews’ efforts to protect a residence in the area, fire officials said it was threatened by the blaze.
“With great sadness, we are reporting one primary residence was lost to the fire,” the OSFM said.
According to the OSFM, the cause of the fire is under investigation, but noted the fire is wind-driven.
FEMA announced on Wednesday that it would direct federal funds to fight the fire, which officials said threatened to cause “a major disaster.” The money would go toward the costs fire agencies are incurring and could cover field camps, equipment, repair and mobilization.
That announcement cam a day after Governor Kate Brown invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act to mobilize fire crews to help battle the fire.
Wasco County remains under evacuation orders. A Level 3 “GET OUT NOW” evacuation advisory is issued from Victor Road and Walters Road North to the south side of 216 to Highway 197.
Meanwhile, a Level 2 “BE PREPARED” evacuation order is in place for the east side of 197 and all of Oak Spring Road to 216. This also includes Tygh Valley, Tygh Valley Road, Fred Ashley Road and Davidson Grade Road. A Level 2 warning is also issued for the town of Maupin on both sides of the Deschutes River.
The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office said a shelter is open at Dufur High School. The Dalles Riders Club is taking in horse while the Fairgrounds is welcoming both horses and livestock.