THE DALLES, Ore. -- The Government Flat fire complex near The Dalles grew to more than 11,000 acres by Thursday morning and officials said they expected rapid spreading and extreme fire behavior over the course of the day.
More than 800 firefighters and support personnel were battling the complex, which is made up of the Blackburn, Government Flat and Wells fires. The Blackburn fire was only 15 percent contained Thursday, while the other two were fully contained.
Background: Wildfire near The Dalles 'getting ugly again'
Evacuation notices remained at Level II for homes along Obrist Road, Upper Mill Creek Road and Wells Road, all of which were closed to non-resident traffic.
"It's been a surreal experience for my wife and myself and we’ve been very skittish," said Lee Weinstein who lives near where the fire is burning. "On the other, hand we have been concerned about neighbors and everybody else who has been impacted by this.”
Four homes and nine outbuildings were destroyed in the wildfires.
Strong west winds were expected Thursday afternoon with gusts of 20 mph or more, posing additional challenges for firefighters.