MAUPIN, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act in order to get resources to a fire burning south of The Dalles in Wasco County.
The Miller Road/Dodge Fire sparked Tuesday afternoon near the community of Juniper Flats and is burning in grass, brush, and juniper. It was estimated to have burned about 1.5 square miles.
The Wasco County sheriff issued several evacuation orders near the fire, including some telling residents to leave immediately. The town of Maupin was placed at a Level 2 — get ready to leave — state of evacuation early Wednesday morning.
The Oregon Department of Transportation said Oregon Highway 216 was closed from the junction with U.S. 197 to Pine Grove.
“With many fires actively burning across the state and several weeks of peak fire season ahead of us, I am urging all Oregonians to be prepared and do their part to help prevent wildfires – just one spark can light a fire that will quickly spread,” Brown said in a statement.
The governor’s declaration allows the state fire marshal to mobilize firefighters and equipment to help local resources in battling the fire.
The following is a press release from the governor’s office:
SALEM, Ore. – Oregon Governor Kate Brown today invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act at 4:50 pm in response to the Miller Road/Dodge Fire in Wasco County. The fire sparked Tuesday afternoon and is burning in grass, brush, and juniper. The fire, located near the community of Juniper Flat, is estimated to be 1,000 acres in size. The Wasco County Sheriff had issued several evacuations orders for homes near the fire.
Currently, local and mutual aid resources are on scene working to slow the progress of the fire. The Lane County task force, which was pre-positioned in Deschutes county is also headed to the fire. The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) Blue Incident Management Team will be briefed and will assume command Wednesday morning. The OSFM will work to bring in five additional task forces through the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS) from counties around Oregon to assist in the response.
“I have invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act to make more state resources available to the fire crews on the front lines in Wasco County at the Miller Road/Dodge Fire,” said Governor Kate Brown. “With many fires actively burning across the state and several weeks of peak fire season ahead of us, I am urging all Oregonians to be prepared and do their part to help prevent wildfires – just one spark can light a fire that will quickly spread. Please continue to follow local and statewide fire prevention regulations and share what you know with others. Every fire we prevent helps us keep our communities and firefighters safe, and our natural resources protected.”
In accordance with ORS 476.510-476.610, Governor Brown determined that a threat to life, safety, and property exists due to the fire, and the threat exceeds the firefighting capabilities of local firefighting personnel and equipment.
The Governor’s declaration cleared the way for the State Fire Marshal to mobilize firefighters and equipment to assist local resources in battling the fire.
The Office of the State Marshal’s Blue Incident Management Team has been mobilized.
In addition, the responding agencies included Juniper Flats Fire Dist., Klickitat County Fire Dist., Hood River Fire, and the Lane County Task Forces.