Central Oregon District - Oregon Department of Forestry
3501 East Third Street
P.O. Box 670
Prineville, OR 97754
Mosier, OR. – The Mosier Creek Fire broke out on Wednesday afternoon at approximately 4:30pm and quickly grew to just over 500 acres by 10:00pm, prompting multiple evacuations. Fire officials flew an infrared scouting flight overnight and estimated the fire to have grown to 791 acres. The fire has currently destroyed 4 structures. The fire is believed to be human caused and is currently under investigation.
The Wasco County Sheriff’s Department has issued multiple evacuation notices and is the primary contact for information regarding evacuation changes. Approximately 564 homes are under an evacuation notice. The Shilo Inn located in The Dalles, OR serves as an emergency shelter for displaced community members who have had to evacuate their homes.
Winds and warmer temperatures caused the fire to grow at a rapid pace. Firefighters worked overnight to build containment lines despite the challenging weather conditions. Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) along with other agency and contract firefighting resources will work to contain the forward spread of the fire while resources from Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM)will focus on protecting homes.
At 12:00pm incident management teams from Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal and Oregon Department of Forestry met at the Wahtonka Community School cafeteria to in-brief and join in unified command of the Mosier Creek Fire. Governor Kate Brown invoked the conflagration act which allows additional state firefighting resources to mobilize in protection of life and property.
Covid-19 proves to be a new challenge in regard to fighting large fires, but the commanders are committed to keeping everyone safe and minimizing the potential for Covid-19 spread. Crews are working in a “module of one” method that ensures firefighting resources do not come in contact with others that are outside of their assigned modules. All assigned personnel to the fire are required to follow Oregon Health Authority’s Guidance to reduce the spread of Covid 19. The incident commander for OSFM stated “This is a zero-tolerance policy”.