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100-acre fire in Columbia River Gorge leads to evacuations

The 7 Mile Hill Fire is burning west of The Dalles and was about 20% contained as of Thursday morning.
Credit: Oregon Department of Forestry
Sevenmile Hill Fire west of The Dalles on Aug. 19, 2020.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Another fire broke out in the Columbia River Gorge Wednesday afternoon and prompted evacuations.

The fire, named the 7 Mile Hill Fire, is burning west of The Dalles. The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) issued the following evacuation order Thursday morning, downgraded from Level 3 overnight:

A Level 2 evacuation from Browns Creek Road to the 4500 block of Cherry Heights Road was lifted Thursday.

People who have evacuated can receive Red Cross assistance at the National Guard Readiness Center, located at 402 E. Scenic Dr. in The Dalles. For more information, contact Wasco County Emergency Management at 541-506-2790.

WCSO said the fire was 20% contained by Thursday morning. The fire is estimated to be about 100 acres and has burned mostly grass with some brush and timber.

Wasco County Sheriff Lane Magill thanked the ranchers and landowners in the area that helped with the fire suppression.

"Without their efforts, the 7 Mile Hill Fire may not have been contained as quickly," he said.

7 Mile Hill Fire Update

The fire broke out shortly before 5 p.m. The cause of the fire has not been determined and is under investigation. Anyone with information on the fire is asked to call the WCSO at 541-296-4626.

Crews on the ground include 115 firefighters and 17 tenders and engines. Two helicopters are also helping with fire suppression efforts. Resources are being used to secure the fire line, ODF said.

The 7 Mile Hill Fire started a week after the Mosier Creek Fire, which burned nearly 1,000 acres and destroyed several homes between Hood River and The Dalles but is now in the mop-up phase.

RELATED: 'Everything’s melted to the ground': Family loses home in Mosier Creek Fire

Also on Wednesday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency due to wildfires burning across the state and the heightened risk of more fires starting.

The governor's declaration authorizes the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal, in coordination with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, to receive help from other state agencies.

“The wildfire season has escalated in Oregon this summer, and fire crews are working in extreme temperatures to keep homes and resources safe during this pandemic,” Brown said. “I’m committed to making state resources available to ensure crews have the resources they need on the ground and across the state. I urge the public to use extreme caution and be mindful of fire restrictions to protect the beauty and bounty of our state.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

RELATED: Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declares state of emergency due to wildfires

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