Dozens of homes threatened near Memaloose State Park, fire reach - KPTV - FOX 12

Dozens of homes threatened near Memaloose State Park, fire reaches more than 200 acres

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WASCO COUNTY, OR (KPTV) -

Dozens of homes are still threatened as the Memaloose Two wildfire just east of Mosier consumed more than 200 acres by Saturday afternoon.

Officials said 35 homes are under a level three “Go Now” evacuation order, and Highway 30 remains closed in the stretch where firefighters work to dig containment lines and protect homes. More than 100 more homes are under either level two “Get Set” or level one “Get Ready” evacuation notices.

Governor Kate Brown Saturday ordered the Emergency Conflagration Act for the fire, adding resources and structure-protection teams from across the state to the fire lines. 

"As this fire moves towards homes near Mosier, I am sending additional resources to the scene so crews can attack it quickly as weather conditions worsen. While firefighters work to keep families safe and protect these homes, I ask Oregonians to do their part: honor all fire restrictions and be cautious as they travel throughout our state," Governor Brown said. 

As of Saturday evening, no homes or structures had been lost to the fire, but the flames came within just feet of at least one property line. Crews said the fire is 5 percent contained and 20 percent lined. The fire is pushing to the east and southeast.

East of Memaloose State Park, I-84 is reduced to one lane, as flames burn close to the roadway. The fire broke out just after 8:30 p.m. Friday night near milepost 70 of the interstate.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but efforts focus on protecting the homes and keeping a watchful eye on gusting winds that hamper firefighting efforts.

“The wind is the primary influence on this fire, and of course, the dry conditions,” said Oregon Fire Marshal’s Office spokesman Rich Tyler.

Kathy Long said she only got two hours of sleep overnight as she watched the flames come within 500 yards of her home.

“We heard the bulldozer running and we were out raking and watering down our house, shop, getting our cats, all of our possessions, our valuables in our 5th wheel trailer, our car, got them headed out ready to go,” Long said.

Long said she’s lived in the area for 40 years and has never conditions worse.

“This is a horribly dry season, I’ve never seen it this dry,” Long said. “We’ve been praying for rain for months, but I don’t think it’s going to come.”

 Level 2 'Get Set To Go' evacuations were issued for the intersection of State Road and Marsh Cuttoff to Dell Road including both sides of the road.

The sheriff office also ordered a Level 1 'Get Ready to Go' evacuation notice for the following: Starting at the bottom of the Rowena Loops to the west end of Tooley Lake, both sides of Interstate 84 and both sides of Hwy 30 as well as Mayor State Park.

Firefighters from the US Forest Service, Mosier Fire and Rescue, Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue, Hood River Structural Task Force, and the Oregon Department of Forestry are continuing work to establish containment lines.

Residents affected by the fire can get information and help from a Red Cross center set up at The Dalles Middle School.

The center will close at 7 p.m. Saturday night and will be open Sunday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

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