Wildfire at Warm Springs Reservation grows to 6,200 acres


S-503 Fire sparked Friday night

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A wildfire burning on the Warm Springs Reservation has grown from 4,300 acres to 6,200 acres, according to officials.

The S-503 Fire, about 2 miles east of Hwy 26 and 7 miles northeast of Simnasho, brought multiple agencies to the front after first sparking around 6 p.m. on Friday. The hot, dry conditions and gusty winds have been a factor in fighting this fire — but lighter winds from the northeast on Sunday helped with fire crews’ efforts as the blaze slowly moved southwest.

Crews have been working to keep the fire from spreading to nearby homes and have been able to hold the north flank, officials say. Going into Monday, firefighters will continue their aggressive work to hold the northwest anchor point and establish some new control line along both northeast and southwest flanks.

As of 9 p.m. on Monday, the wildfire is 10% contained and covers an area just over 9 1/2 square miles.

A burn ban on the Warm Springs Reservation is in effect “until further notice,” according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and applies to all outdoor and agricultural burning with the exception of ceremonial and traditional fires. The federal agency is also asking reservation residents to reduce other forms of air pollution, including driving and idling vehicles.

Evacuation Levels as of 12:30 p.m. Sunday (Wasco County Sheriff’s Office)

  • Level 2 GET READY: All residences west of the intersection of Kelly Springs Road and Back Walters Road, anything else previously under level 1 east of Kelly Springs to Reservation Rd including Walters Corners and the community of Pine Grove.

It’s not clear what caused this fire to start, officials said.

Dave Tragethon with Mount Hood said the fire is visible on their webcams. “It looks like it’s blowing up a bit,” he told KOIN 6 News.

The fire is about 92 miles from Portland.

KOIN 6 News will have more information as it develops.

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