Saturday, August 9, 2014

Washington state's 3,300 acre Rowena Wildfire threatens 740 homes

KOIN 6: A wildfire burning dangerously close to the small Columbia River Gorge community of Rowena has spread to more than 3,300 acres, but by Friday evening, fire crews said it was finally looking up. “We have gone hard at this fire for all the right reasons,” said Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Commander John Buckman. “We turned the corner today and things are looking much better.”

Crews were able to bring the flames under 35% containment, but not before at least two homes were damaged and another destroyed, and the state spent nearly $2 million.

A total of 740 homes are currently threatened, with 143 homes under a Level III (Go!) evacuation notice, according to a late afternoon update, while 597 homes are on a Level 1 (Get Ready) evacuation warning.  Based on infrared imaging, the Oregon State Fire Marshal estimates the fire to be at 3,372 acres, but a new update is expected by morning.

...By Thursday night, the fire displaced residents of about 275 homes and had scorched over 2,600 acres with zero percent containment. Some of those residents were allowed back into their homes later in the day when the number of homes under a Level 3 evacuation dropped to 143 as the fire moved east. The marshal’s office at that time had estimated the cost of the fire at $937,000....

A generic wildfire shot, from California, public domain

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