Salem, OR—Governor Kate Brown invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act yesterday in response to the Sunset Valley Fire that broke out in Wasco County Thursday evening. The fire, located near The Dalles, is estimated to be 987 acres in size and temporarily closed Highway 197 on Thursday; there are level 1 and 2 evacuations in place. The Office of the State Fire Marshal assumed command at 7 a.m. today and will work to bring resources from counties around Oregon to assist in the response.
“This year’s fire season is already proving to be serious, as I have invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act for the second time this week to make more state resources available to the fire crews on the front lines in Wasco County at the Wrentham Market Fire, and now, the Sunset Valley Fire,” Governor Brown said. "As we head into the 4th of July weekend, it is imperative that all Oregonians remain mindful of fire safety and prevention. Please remember to be prepared, responsible, and to honor all burn bans."
In accordance with ORS 476.510-476.610, Governor Brown determined that a threat to life, safety, and property exist 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 to mobilize firefighters and equipment to assist local resources battling the fire.
The Office of the State Marshal’s Red Incident Management Team has been mobilized. In addition, the responding agencies include Mid-Columbia Fire, Dallesport Fire, Dufur Fire, and Mosier Fire; taskforces from Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, and Hood River Counties; the Bureau of Land Management; and the U.S. Forest Service. OSFM personnel responded with a Communications Unit and a cache trailer loaded with incident support supplies, including COVID-19 PPE, tools to enhance defensible space around structures, and other provisions firefighters need to inhabit a fire camp.
Additional updates for the incident may be accessed at:
• Oregon State Fire Marshal Facebook page
• Wasco County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page