PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Substation Fire is 92% contained — burning a total, so far, of more than 78,000 acres.
While the majority of fire is under control, the real work is just beginning for many.
Farmers have been out with their insurance companies assessing the damage after all evacuation notices for Sherman and Wasco counties were lifted Monday.
A fourth generation wheat farmer, Rich Kortge said fire burned nearly 4,000 acres of his property. However, he considers himself one of the lucky ones.
“I can’t tell you how fortunate I am,” he said. “I have everything together that I had Monday that matters. I think most of us are feeling that way, some people do not.”
Kortge said all farmers “dropped everything” to help each other and their properties.
Knew little about the farming community in Wasco/Sherman Co. before the #substationfire. Now after spending 1W w/many of them – their incredible humanity has blown me away. All were on the front lines w/ ff’s to protect their prop as well as their neighbors, risking their lives. pic.twitter.com/Qzg7HNPKzg— Eileen Park (@EileenParkTV) July 23, 2018
“The majority of the people would literally do and did anything and have, risk their lives and use their equipment,” Kortge said. “I had people, my neighbors, disking my house with their fuel, trying to save my property and they will expect nothing — and they would do it tomorrow and the next day and the next day.”
Aside from their land, some farmers are in desperate need of more hay as they’re struggling to find space and food for their cattle.
Risi Howard is raising money for some 200 cattle. They’re asking for large bales of hay as well as clean hay that’s been sprayed with noxious weed.
The Mid-Columbia Economic Development District said there will be two open houses regarding resources for people affected by the Substation Fire.
- July 30 Time: 4pm-7pm Location: Fort Dalles Readiness, 402 E Scenic Dr, The Dalles, OR 97058
- July 31 Time: 4pm-7pm Location: Sherman County School, 65912 High School Loop, Moro, OR 97039