THE DALLES, Ore. – Multiple agencies were fighting a complex of wildfires Sunday that were threatening homes near The Dalles.
Firefighters from 23 agencies headed to the fire that was started by lightning Friday and was already burning some structures Sunday evening.
A Level II evacuation order was put in place for 35 homes by the Wasco County Sheriff's Office.
A Level II evacuation means residents should prepare for an immediate departure in the event that a full, Level III, evacuation should occur.
On Sunday, Gov. John Kitzhaber declared the Government Flat Complex Fire a conflagration.
The complex is made up of three fires. The 700-acre Blackburn Fire is burning within the city of The Dalles’ watershed, which has steep terrain with limited access to firefighters. The Government Flat Fire and the Wells Fire are lined, and officials said the risk of them spreading is low.
Strong winds Saturday caused the fires to spread across dry grass, and brush.
Eleven 20-person crews headed out to battle the fire early Sunday morning, and at least 500 firefighters were expected to arrive early Monday.
Residents near the fire received pre-evacuations alerts.