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Brush fire evacuations lifted in Columbia River Gorge, interstate reopened

ODOT and Oregon State Police have shut down I-84 as wildfires burn west of The Dalles, June 2, 2021.
Courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service
ODOT and Oregon State Police have shut down I-84 as wildfires burn west of The Dalles, June 2, 2021.

Residents of a mobile home park between Interstate 84 and U.S. Highway 30 in Wasco County, Oregon, were temporarily issued level 3 “go now” evacuation orders early Wednesday afternoon, and the interstate and the highway were each temporarily closed in both directions due to a fire, according to law enforcement and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

In addition to the Pine Wood Mobile Manor community, the Columbia River Gorge Discovery Center and a nearby golf course were evacuated Wednesday, according to the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office. Evacuation levels were later downgraded, and then eventually dropped Thursday morning.

The area along Highway 30 west of the NORCOR corrections facility and east of The Dalles Country Club was also under level 1 evacuation notice. Those evacuation notices have been lifted as well. U.S. 30 was still closed between mileposts 60 and 72 Thursday morning.

What started the fire is unknown so far, but fire officials believe it was human-caused.

The fire burned about 130 acres, according to the U.S. Forest Service. It was at about 70% containment as of 6 p.m. Wednesday.

No injuries or loss of buildings have been reported as of midday Thursday.

Multiple agencies stalled the progression of the fire, but heavy wind is forecast to move through the area Thursday and thunderstorms are possible. The U.S. Forest Service and the Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue are jointly commanding the fire efforts.

This is a developing story. Watch for updates.

Copyright 2021 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Courtney Sherwood