SALEM, Ore. (AP) — People who live along a state highway east of Portland, Oregon, have been ordered to evacuate because of a wildfire that continues to burn and Gov. Kate Brown has authorized additional resources if needed to fight the blaze.
Brown on Friday invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act for the White River River in Wasco County, determining that it is dangerous and exceeds local firefighting capabilities. The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal is now able to mobilize resources to assist local crews battling the flames.
The lightning-caused blaze was discovered Aug. 17, has burned more than 4,500 acres (1,821 hectares) and is 10% contained.
Earlier this week a firefighting helicopter pilot died in a crash while working the White River Fire.
“This month, firefighting resources have been stretched to deal with 11 large wildfires,” Brown said in a statement. “I am asking all Oregonians to remain vigilant with any activity that could spark a wildfire.”
Level 3 evacuation orders for about 100 people were issued Thursday for an area along Highway 216 where the White River Fire is burning. The fire is located about 80 miles (128 kilometers) east of Portland.