A northeast Oregon wildfire reported Saturday afternoon quickly grew to 3,800 acres by Sunday and prompted evacuation orders for nearby residents, officials said.
The Dry Gulch Fire was reported around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday about seven miles northwest of the town of Richland. The cause of the fire is under investigation, Oregon Department of Forestry officials said.
About 150 firefighters were called in to battle the flames burning in steep terrain and limited access on land protected by ODF, the federal Bureau of Land Management and the Eagle Valley Rural Fire District. Seven SEAT (Single-Engine Air Tankers) planes and three helicopters were helping hand crews in the effort.
Highway 86 was closed Sunday afternoon between Richland and Halfway, while a Level 3 Evacuation (GO) order was issued for
-Pine Town Lane
·New Bridge to Carnahan Lane
·Carnahan Lane to Hewitt Park
·along the Powder River arm to Sag Road and Sag Road to Highway 86
·West Wall of Halfway Valley
A Level 2 Evacuation (GET SET) order was issued for areas:
·Between Carnahan Lane and Moody Road
·Cornucopia Highway and the West Wall of the Halfway Valley
Saturday’s initial attack utilized air resources and dozers heavily to fight the fire and build containment lines.
Sunday’s temperatures in the upper 80s and gusty winds to 15 mph from the west brought continued potential for active fire behavior.
Crews from ODF, the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, BLM and Baker County Rural Fire resources were on scene, with local Type 3 Interagency Team taking control of the firefighting effort.
Other road closures implemented for public and firefighter safety included Eagle Creek Road from New Bridge and the 77 Road from McBride Campground to Highway 86.
Meanwhile, on the month-old Canyon Creek Complex Fire near John Day, the weekend brought a new Level 2 evacuation alert for residents in areas along Dog Creek Road, amid more heat and threatened gusty winds. The fire, which destroyed 43 structures and damaged 50 more, has burned 110,422 acres and is 90 percent contained.
For updates on these and other Oregon wildfires, visit: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/38/