Salem, OR—Governor Tina Kotek invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act the evening of June 13, 2023, in response to two wildfires in Umatilla County: the Hat Rock fire burning east of Hermiston and the Mount Hebron fire burning northeast of Pendleton. The Umatilla County Sheriff's Office has issued Level 3 evacuation orders for the Hat Rock fire, and some residents self-evacuated due to the fire activity on the Mount Hebron fire. Local fire officials have confirmed some outbuildings were lost in the Mount Hebron fire.
“These are the first major wildfires of the season prompting approval of the Emergency Conflagration Act to allow urgent deployment of additional resources to our neighbors in Umatilla County,” Governor Kotek said. “Right now, we are focused on keeping families and properties safe and providing up-to-date information as the wildfires evolve. I am grateful to the Oregon State Fire Marshal, the Oregon Department of Forestry, and the regional fire departments who have been on the ground battling these fires with a quick, dedicated response. As wildfire season is now upon us, I urge Oregonians to be prepared and, most importantly, do your part to prevent wildfires.”
Governor Kotek visited communities in Umatilla County in May as a part of her One Oregon Listening Tour.
Local firefighting resources from three counties have been battling these two fast-moving wildfires since they began midday June 13. The Hat Rock fire has grown rapidly due to the dry and extremely windy conditions across light fuels.
In accordance with ORS 476.510-476.610, Governor Kotek 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 (OSFM) to mobilize resources through the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS) to support local fire service agencies on scene. This includes sending six task forces of fire engines and personnel from Multnomah, Clackamas, Marion, Lane, Linn and Yamhill counties along with an OSFM incident management team to Umatilla County.
Additional updates for the incident may be accessed at:
Oregon State Fire Marshal Facebook page
Umatilla County Fire District #1 Facebook page
Information on wildfire prevention and preparedness may be accessed at:
Keep Oregon Green
Oregon Wildfire Response & Recovery
Oregon Department of Emergency Management