News | Local

Rowena Fire: More Than 2,600 Acres Burned, Flames Visible In The Dalles

AP | Aug. 7, 2014 6:08 a.m. | Updated: Aug. 7, 2014 2:09 p.m. | Portland

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AP and OPB

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The fire grew to over 2600 acres by Thursday morning, but fire crews had a bulldozed a line around it and some evacuation orders were being lifted.

Update 12:30 p.m.

Firefighters in the Columbia River Gorge say they’ve made progress against the Rowena blaze.

Though hundreds of homes remain threatened, firefighters have established a bulldozer line around the perimeter.

More than 2,600 acres have burned and the fire remains zero percent contained.

Some residents who were under a mandatory evacuation since yesterday have been allowed to go home, but they’ve been warned to stay read to leave again if conditions change.

Some 600 people have been displaced by the fire.


White board lists the latest stats on the Rowena fire Thursday morning.

White board lists the latest stats on the Rowena fire Thursday morning.

Michael Clapp / OPB

Update 9 a.m.:

Conrad Wilson reporting on Morning Edition said the fire has now grown to more than 2,600 acres.

Update 7 a.m.:

According to OPB’s Conrad Wilson, the Rowena fire now at least 1,900 acres. It was 200 acres yesterday. There are 600 homes threatened.

He said as night crews end their shifts and day crews begin, the firefighters face hot, windy weather as they work to battle the blaze.

After a night fighting the Rowena fire, Jesse waits to refuel before heading to fire camp for some rest.

After a night fighting the Rowena fire, Jesse waits to refuel before heading to fire camp for some rest.

Michael Clapp / OPB


A new wildfire pushed by gusting winds is threatening the small Columbia River Gorge community of Rowena, where residents of 275 homes had been told to evacuate as of Wednesday night.

Fire spokesman Dave Wells says the fire made a run along the river Wednesday evening. He says as smoke cleared, flames from the fire were visible from The Dalles, a city of about 14,000 that is about 6 miles from the blaze.

Wells says an unknown number of residents in an outlying Dalles neighborhood were told to be ready to leave if necessary.

A fire near The Dalles is now threatening hundreds of homes and has burned thousands of acres.

So far no homes have burned. Wells said firefighters planned to work through the night protecting residences.

Fire spokesman Justin de Ruyter says five helicopters dropped water on the blaze earlier as winds gusted to more than 30 mph.

A section of U.S. Highway 30 was closed in the area. Rowena is about 75 miles east of Portland.

Map from the Inciweb website of the Rowena fire. Click for larger image or visit the Incwiweb website.

Map from the Inciweb website of the Rowena fire. Click for larger image or visit the Incwiweb website.

Inciweb

The fire began in brush Tuesday night and quickly spread to about 200 acres of timber and scrub oak in rocky, steep terrain. It grew on Wednesday but no updated acreage figure was available pending an infrared flight scheduled overnight.

OPB contributed to this report.

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