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Aug. 7: Northwest Wildfire Update

South Valley Road Fire near Dufur via Inciweb.

An extreme heat watch has been issued for most of eastern Oregon and Washington beginning tomorrow morning at 9 and lasting through Thursday night at 9. High temperatures for both days will be well over 100 degrees. The heat combined with low humidity continues to mean the fire danger is great and caution is advised.

An estimated 140 firefighters from New Zealand and Australia reported to duty in the Pacific Northwest Sunday. They are being deployed to help the firefighting efforts in Redmond, Oregon and Redding California. Before deploying they are in Boise, Idaho, getting outfitted with protective equipment and doing some training. They will be in the country for more than 40 days or longer if necessary. The two countries have partnered with the U.S. firefighting community for decades.

Washington state fire assistance has been mobilized to support local firefighters working to contain the Silver Lake Fire in Spokane County near Cheney. The fire started yesterday afternoon and is burning in grass, brush and timber. At last report it was at 100 acres and growing rapidly.

It is threatening homes and crops as well as communications and utility infrastructure. Level 3 (GO) evacuation notices are in effect and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Angel Springs Fire, eight miles northeast of Davenport, Washington, is at more than 4,500 acres and is 15 percent contained. Two homes have burned, and 170 others are threatened. A minor structure has also been destroyed. The cause of the fire is unknown. It was first reported on Thursday.

The South Valley Road Fire 10 miles southwest of Dufur, Oregon is 60 percent contained at 20,026 acres. An assessment now indicates that three homes and 15 outbuildings were destroyed in the fire that began Wednesday. Another 212 homes are threatened. The cause is under investigation.

It’s estimated that there are approximately 50 miles of fire perimeter. Hotter and windy conditions forecast this week are concerning officials. Firefighters are working to cool down as much of the area as possible, to lessen the threat of rekindling due to solar heating hitting the ground and virtually creating a whirlwind that can carry burning embers over the fire line sparking a new blaze outside the perimeter.

The Taylor Creek Fire is now at just under 40,000 acres 10 miles west of Grants Pass, Oregon. Sparked by lightning on July 15, this is one of the biggest of several fires burning in Southern Oregon. It is now 38 percent contained and is threatening about 1,500 homes and almost 1,300 other structures.


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