Fire authorities in The Dalles have expanded evacuation notices to roughly 185 additional homes, That’s more than three times the number that had been considered “at risk.”
Authorities now say the Government Flat Complex has destroyed at least four homes over the last few days.
Strong winds coming in the Gorge over the last week have helped spread the blaze across more than 11 thousand acres. Yesterday, the winds drove the fire away from the city and into the Mount Hood National Forest.
Fire information officer Chris Friend says forecasters are calling for more wind today - but this time out of the west - with gusts of 20 miles per hour or more.
Friend explained, “We had an east wind the last day or so, and that, kind of, is what caused it to push out to the west. But it was more uninhabited out there. The fear here today is when these winds come back around that we could get some runs heading up to the north, northeast.”
Friend says not only are there more homes in that area, it’s also the site of a major transmission line owned by BPA. Crews are in place to protecting those lines as well as any homes in the path of the fire. Friend says today will be quote “crucial.”