Wildfire Near The Dalles Over 12,000 Acres
National Guard helicopter over the fire
Ready to evacuate
August 23, 2013, 1:38 pm
THE DALLES, Ore. -- It's been one week since lightning ignited the Government Flat Complex fire ten miles southwest of town. There's been little growth since Thursday. The wildfire stands at over 12,000 acres.
The complex is made up of three fires. The Blackburn is 20% contained while the two others are fully out.
Over 200 homes have been evacuated and many other residents could have to leave at any moment. At least four homes and nearly a dozen outbuildings have burned down.
A shelter operated by the Red Cross is available for those who can't go home. It's at Dry Hollow Elementary School on East 19th Street.
Over 1,000 firefighters are working the blaze, many whom are staying in tents at the high school.
Ash from the wildfire is falling into the metro area as far away as Beaverton.
"It literally looked like someone was dumping an ashtray from the sky. It didn't seem like something you wanted to be breathing in," Joel Gross told KGW.
It's also affecting the town's water supply. Customers are noticing a smoky taste and smell, but officials say it's just temporary and not a health risk.
Another community meeting is scheduled for 6:30pm Saturday at the new Watonka High School.