Wildfires Outside The Dalles Destroy Two Homes

Aug 20, 2013

Large wildfires burning outside of the Dalles have destroyed 2 homes. That's according to the Office of the Oregon State Fire Marshall. It's not clear if the homes were being lived in.

On Monday firefighters working the Government Flat Complex reported high winds drove flames at a rate of about 300 feet per minute.

The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office has issued evacuation orders for about 80 homes. Nationwide, firefighting resources are stretched thin. This morning, top fire managers increased the national fire Preparedness Level to its highest point, level 5.

Carol Connolly is a fire information officer with the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. She says the change not only represents the large number of fires burning, but also a shortage of resources across the country.

"A hundred requests came in for fire crews yesterday and they couldn't fill one of them" says Connolly.

Connolly says fire managers are being asked to tighten their belts and make do with what they have. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, this is the fifth time level 5 has been reached in the last ten years.

Copyright 2013 Oregon Public Broadcasting