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Rowena Fire Updates 8/7

A helicopter makes a bucket drop on the Rowena Fire, August 6, 2014.

Photo by Adam Lapierre.
A helicopter makes a bucket drop on the Rowena Fire, August 6, 2014.

Update from Oregon Fire Marshall/Oregon Department of Forestry:

Based on infrared imaging, last night the fire grew from approximately 150 acres at about 11:00 a.m. Wednesday to its current size of approximately 2,645 acres. It made a significant run eastward from its point of origin west of Rowena towards The Dalles.

The flaming front was clearly visible to the community and from the Incident Command Post located at Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue's station in The Dalles

Significant work was completed overnight, and dozer constructed containment line now confines the fires eastern edge in a rough line connecting Foley Lakes to 7 Hill Road. Incident Commander John Buckman commented on last night's action: "The integration between OSFM and ODF provided the needed resources to address both the wildland and structural protection components of the incident."

Structural protection

Three structure protection task forces from Washington, Yamhill, and Columbia counties mobilized under the Oregon State Conflagration Act arrived at the fire mid-morning yesterday and were assigned to relieve local firefighting crews in protecting the Level 3 evacuated homes along Highway 30. Those resources did a tremendous job saving homes while battling winds and heavy fire activity throughout the day and evening. It was quickly realized that additional resources were going to be needed so an additional three task forces were brought in from Multnomah, Clackamas, and Marion counties and were assigned to relieve the day shift task forces so that their good work could continue through the night.

During the blow-up yesterday evening, all task forces were immediately deployed to the Seven Mile area to help protect homes in conjunction with the evacuations that were taking place by the Wasco County Sheriff's Office. Approximately 300 structures were protected by the six task forces. Crews are heading back out to the fire line this morning and will continue to evaluate and prioritize the most threatened ones while maintaining awareness of conditions forecasted to be similar to yesterday.

Evacuations

A Level 3 evacuation remains in effect for 275 dwellings as ordered by the Wasco County Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff's Office would like to thank the public for their support and cooperation during the evacuations last night.

An evacuation shelter has been set up by the Red Cross at Dry Hollow Elementary School located at 1314 E 19th, The Dalles, OR.

Today's fire strategy

Today, fire control work will focus on reinforcing containment lines on the eastern edge of the fire, securing the northwest end of the fire and continuing structural protection along Highway 30 and other residences.

Public Meeting

A public information meeting is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., tonight, August 7, at The Dalles/Wahtonka High School located 220 East 10th Street in The Dalles. This meeting is open to all members of the public and media. Fire managers will provide a current status update and be available to address questions and concerns.

Unified Command

The fire is being managed under a unified command between the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office and Oregon Department of Forestry. This Unified Command is working for ODF Central Oregon District, Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area and Mid Columbia Fire & Rescue.

Fire-At-A-Glance

Size: 2,645 acres

Location: The Dalles, OR

Containment: 0%

Cause: Under Investigation

Personnel: 431

Estimated Cost: $937,000

Evacuations and Road Closures: Wasco County Sheriff Evacuation Hotline: 541-506-2792

Closures/Restrictions: Highway 30 between The Dalles Country Club and Rowena

Update from Rowena Fire information for the morning of Aug. 7.

The fire has significantly grown through the night, as have the numbers of personnel on scene fighting it. US 30, the Old Columbia River Highway, is still closed between milepost 57.5 (near Mosier) to milepost 70.2 (west of The Dalles) due to wildfire. Motorists are directed to use I-84. Use caution while driving through the area on the Interstate due to congestion.

The American Red Cross shelter that was opened at the Mosier Grange early this morning has been moved to a new location to accommodate additional residents who have been evacuated from their homes due to the Rowena wildfire. The new shelter location is Dry Hollow Elementary School, 1314 East 19th Street in The Dalles, OR 97058.

OVERNIGHT UPDATE:

The fire has grown to 1900 acres.

275 homes are under Level-3 evacuation (approximately 600 people displaced)

600 homes threatened.

431 Total personnel

(16) Type 1 Engines

(44) Total apparatus

(14) Crews

(6) Rotary aircraft (3 Type 1, 2 Type 2 and 1 Type 3)

(3) Dozers

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