Governor Declares Emergency for Deschutes County Wildfire

DESCHUTES COUNTY, Ore. — The Governor declares an emergency and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s office is posting evacuation orders for a fast growing wildfire.

Tuesday afternoon, you could watch a small plane flying into Deschutes County, dropping fire retardant, a row of homes beneath and a towering inferno with black smoke stretching to the sky overhead. Level two and three evacuation orders are in effect including “GO NOW: for areas north of Highway 31. The fire has grown to 1700 acres since it sparked Tuesday afternoon. Governor Tina Kotex declared an emergency conflagration for this wildfire. It comes as firefighters and forecasters warned of a tough season ahead in a meeting with Oregon’s Congressional Delegation this week. Ed Hyatt with Forest Service Region 6, Oregon and Washington, says about 20 percent of wildland firefighter jobs are vacant.

“I think we probably like a lot of the wildland agencies, continue to struggle to staff to that fullest potential because of competition everywhere for jobs.”

A temporary evacuation point is set up at LaPine High School for those in need of somewhere to go, and there’s a shelter for livestock and small animals at the LaPine Rodeo Grounds.

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