Eastern Oregon wildfire burns 500 acres, 25 percent contained - KPTV - FOX 12

Eastern Oregon wildfire burns 500 acres, 25 percent contained

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(Photo: Union County Emergency Services) (Photo: Union County Emergency Services)
Photo Credit: John Buckman, Oregon Dept of Forestry Photo Credit: John Buckman, Oregon Dept of Forestry

A wildfire in eastern Oregon shut down Interstate 84 for hours and led to evacuations near the highway. 

The Weigh Station Fire was found burning Saturday afternoon about 13 miles southeast of Pendleton. The fire is burning on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. 

Firefighters on Sunday evening said they had a productive day fighting the fire, as weather conditions allowed them the opportunity to work on strengthening fire lines. Helicopters supported ground crews by delivering bucket drops to cool hotspots along the lines and supported burning operations to remove unburnt islands of fuel. 

Due to more accurate mapping, the fire size has decreased and is about 500 acres and 25 percent contained. A news release from earlier in the day had the fire at approximately 700 acres. 

Interstate 84 was closed in the area overnight due to the fire. As of 8 p.m. Sunday, the freeway was opened to all traffic. Drivers were advised that firefighting activity is continuing directly in the area and to use caution. 

Meacham has been removed from any evacuation notice. The lands north and south of the highway from the Weigh Station on Deadman Pass to Emigrant Springs State Park are currently at a Level 2 "SET." Residents seeking shelter assistance from American Red Cross can call the Red Cross Dispatch phone at 888-680-1455.

High winds are forecast across the region on Tuesday, and firefighters will continue to work over the next two days on strengthening control lines in preparation for that possibility.  

Nearly 300 people were battling the fire Sunday. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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