Evacuation orders for a wildfire burning near Hermiston were downgraded late Monday morning, according to a Facebook post published by the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office.
Level 2 “Be Set, Get Ready” evacuation orders, previously Level 3 “Go Now,” are now in place for the areas north of Highway 730 to the Columbia River, and north of Bensel and Progress Roads, east of Bud Draper Road all the way to, and including, Salmon Point.
The Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center on Airport Road in Hermiston has opened as a shelter for evacuees of the Bensel Fire.
On Sunday night, Gov. Tina Kotek invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act to allow the Oregon State Fire Marshal to mobilize additional resources to respond to the fire, including personnel, air tankers and a helicopter.
On Monday morning, the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Incident Management Team assumed command of the fire, according to the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office.
Additional updates on evacuation orders for the Bensel Fire can be found on the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.