Ore. gov. declares emergency amid wildfires

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by Kyle Iboshi and Associated Press

KREM.com

Posted on September 10, 2011 at 9:10 AM

ZIG ZAG, Ore.-- A state of emergency was declared in Oregon Friday as the threat of more wildfires continued to grow.

Red Flag Warnings were in effect for the Cascade Range through Sunday as wildfire danger remained extreme due to a combination of unseasonably hot weather and the potential for wind to spread fires.

Gov. John Kitzhaber toured over the northern flank of Mount Hood for a close-up view of the Dollar Lake Fire, then touched down for a briefing Friday. Kitzhaber made the emergency declaration in order to keep military firefighting resources in-state.

Crews continued to battle the Dollar Lake Fire on Mt. Hood, which has closed recreation areas, threatened high-voltage power lines and Portland's water supply.

The Oregon National Guard was mobilized to help with firefighting efforts there. Aviation crews and support personnel were based in the Parkdale area.

Related: Burn ban issued for all of Multnomah County

The Dollar Lake Fire had already scorched nearly 4,600 acres by Thursday evening.

The fire was three miles from the Bull Run Watershed and 18 miles from drinking water intakes.

"In these kinds of conditions anything adjacent to a wild land fire is potentially threatened," said Peter Frenzen of NW Oregon Interagency Incident Management Team, "but I would stress potentially threatened." 

Fire crews Thursday said the watershed was not at immediate risk and there was no threat to communities on Mt. Hood.

A community briefing was scheduled at the Mt. Hood Lions Club in Welches at 7 p.m. Friday.

More: Smoke, heat pose health risks in Oregon

On the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs reservation, crews have the Badger Butte fire 25 percent contained.

The Shadow Lake Fire near Sisters, Oregon, had reached 6,700 acres by Friday morning and was 15 percent contained. More than 600 people were working to fight the blaze.

In Washington, more than 300 people were battling the Monastery Fire near Goldendale Friday, and more were expected to join the fight throughout the day. Nine homes and 13 outbuildings had been destroyed as the fire grew to more than 5300 acres.

Interactive Map: Current NW & US Wildfires

Dry, hot weather was expected to continue throughout the weekend, but a cool down was predicted for the middle of next week.

Real-time Maps: Air quality | Visibility | Wind | Temps

 

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