Oregon governor declares emergency as wildfire threatens homes

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 14, 2015 9:11 PM

(Reuters) - Oregon’s governor invoked the state’s so-called Emergency Conflagration Act on Monday, mobilizing additional resources as a fast-growing wildfire threatened 275 homes in a rural area of the state.

Since the Dry Gulch Fire erupted in eastern Oregon on Saturday, it has charred more than 20,000 acres in dry, windy conditions, prompting officials to evacuate more than 100 homes on Monday.

Authorities told residents of about 275 homes outside the community of Richland to stand by for possible evacuation orders, according to the state Department of Forestry.

"The rapidly growing Dry Gulch Fire is a reminder that fire danger is still high across much of the state,” Governor Kate Brown said in a statement.

"With homes and lives in the balance, we must quickly devote the resources and coordination needed,” said Brown, who called on the state fire marshal to send additional equipment and firefighters to assist the local battle against the blaze.

Organizers of Cycle Oregon, an annual event expected to bring more than 2,000 bike riders through eastern Oregon this week, said in a statement on their website they were monitoring fire reports and hoped to allow riders to continue as scheduled.

(Reporting by Courtney Sherwood in Portland, Ore.; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Peter Cooney)