THE DALLES, Ore. – About 100 homeowners have been told to prepare for evacuation as a series of three wildfires near The Dalles continued to burn Monday morning, driven by overnight winds.
Firefighters from 23 agencies were on what was being called the Government Flat Fire that was started by lightning Friday and was already burning some structures Sunday evening.
Fire officials said in a prepared statement that two outbuildings had been destroyed. A KGW viewer said the structures were actually family homes.
A Level II evacuation order was put in place for 35 homes by the Wasco County Sheriff's Office Sunday evening and revised to 100 homes Monday morning, spokesman Tommy Schroeder told KGW.
A Level II evacuation means residents should prepare for an immediate departure in the event that a full, Level III, evacuation should occur.
On Sunday, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber declared the Government Flat Complex Fire a conflagration.
The complex is made up of three fires. The 700-acre Blackburn Fire is burning within the city of The Dalles’ watershed, which has steep terrain with limited access to firefighters. The Government Flat Fire and the Wells Fire are lined, and officials said the risk of them spreading is low.
Strong winds Saturday caused the fires to spread across dry grass, and brush.
Eleven 20-person crews headed out to battle the fire early Sunday morning, and at least 500 firefighters headed out Monday.