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Tractor driver dies in 36,000-acre substation fire







THE DALLES, Ore – (Update: Tractor driver killed, Highway 97 closed due to firing) [19659006Atractordriverhasdiedwhiletryingtofightthe36000-acreSubstationFireeastoftheDalleswhichhasnowalsocloseda67-milestretchofUSHighway97fromBiggsJunctionatColumbiaGorgetothesouthattheintersectionofthe197motorway"Officialssaid

A news agency publication of a Wasco County sheriff said MPs responded to a report of a burnt tractor at around 1:30 pm Wednesday

MPs have found the tractor, and the driver was found dead at some distance, apparently killed by the fire , The name was not published until the family was informed

"It is believed that the operator of the tractor has tried to suppress the fire by creating a fire pipe," it said in a press release

The Substation Fire The Dalles grew to 36,000 acres on Wednesday, forcing more evacuations, but officials said the morning brought good progress and slower spread. The afternoon brought news of a power outage in three districts, apparently related to wildfire and its impact on key power lines.

The grass fire east of Portland took a 115 kilovolt power line southeast of the city of The Dalles owned by the Bonneville Power Administration. BPA spokesman Kevin Wingert said the crews had largely restored the service.

The power transmitted through the line is sold by BPA to various utilities in the immediate area, and it was not immediately clear how many customers were affected.

Frontier 911 reported at 13 o'clock. that the failure had hit the counties of Wheeler, Gilliam and Sherman.

The rapid wildfire destroyed three buildings on Tuesday, one of which was at home when it overran the Deschutes River and forced extensive evacuations. It was one of several forest fires that caused problems in inhabited areas around the northwest.

OPB reported that the Fire substation jumped the Deschutes River near Sayers Road and entered Sherman County late Tuesday night. About 75 Homes Have Been Evacuated

Just before midnight, Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office launched the State Conflagration Law, which called for the call of equipment and firefighters from around the state

"To the Ensuring safety Given the dry and windy conditions on the ground, I call for an emergency response to provide firefighters and first responders with additional government resources, "said Brown.

Due to the fire, the Lower Deschutes River was closed Wednesday to start, take-outs, camping and other access from Macks Canyon south to Sherars Falls until further notice, officials said. Boaters can not board Rivers 3 or 4 of the river at this time as Sherman County evacuates the area.

KGW reported earlier that the relay fire had broken out between Highway 197 and was burning between the highway and the Eightmile Road.

Winds blew the grass fire to the east, where it jumped over the Eightmile Road and Emerson Loop and headed for the Deschutes River.

A Level 3 Evacuation Note (GO) was issued for areas of nearly two dozen homes and later extended north as the fire spread, according to Wasco County sheriff's office, while others were below Level 1 (Be Ready) -evacuation warning. The American Red Cross set up a shelter for evacuees at Dalles Middle School.

The Sky 8 video showed three completely intricate structures. According to the Forest Service, one of the buildings was a house.

It was one of several Northwest Fires that prompted evacuations on late Tuesday.

Authorities say a small fire that prompted evacuation reminders for 700 homes near Spokane Valley began to build in and then spread to grass and trees.

KREM-TV reports that the so-called Uprior Beacon Fire crashed overnight and all the most urgent evacuation notes were downgraded by Wednesday morning.

The State Department of Natural Resources helped lift the fire from a seaplane in a floatplane and more firefighters arrived after Washington Patriotic Chief John Batiste approved their mobilization on Tuesday night.

The fire has burned down about a third of a square mile and damaged some electrical transmission lines.

Official reports claim a structure is lost, but spokeswoman Melanie Rose of Spokane Valley Fire estimates that at least six structures have been destroyed. She said at least two were listed as houses.

Red Cross officials in the northwest of the country said they had opened a shelter for evacuees at Bowdish Middle School in the Spokane Valley.

Meanwhile, in Central Oregon near Medford, several shops, homes, and assisted living facilities were evacuated due to a fast-moving barrel.

Medford police said the fire, reportedly started near the Rogue Valley Family Fun Center, spread through dry scrub and grass through a large field behind Costco toward Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport.
The Mail Tribune reported that 14 residents of assisted living facilities have been evacuated and will be spending the night in a hospital.

The police said the fire had caused property damage but apparently no injuries and was largely controlled before it could reach the airport.

The police said some evacuations persisted while firefighters were working to bring the fire completely under control.

Much of Oregon is dealing with a flood of lightning forest fires.

In south central Oregon, crews have responded to 58 fires in 72 hours, after more than 2,000 lightning strikes during that time. The largest, 50-acre Blue Creek Fire, burned in southwest Spodue Mountain, while the 41-acre Holbrook Fire burned about 13 kilometers southeast of the Gerber Reservoir.

Brand managers use fire to control the seven-acre Tiny Creek Fire, located about eight miles west of the Interstate 97-138 intersection near Chemult. Officials analyzed the fire and decided that conditions were good, letting the fire reduce hazardous fuels similar to a prescribed fire, using roads as control lines and threatening no hot spots endangering lines.

Another large grass fire, the Hinton Creek Fire near Heppner burned 15,000 to 20,000 acres on Tuesday afternoon, but was stopped by numerous fire departments as well as federal and federal teams. No structures were lost as the fire burned prairie, some fences and hurdles.


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