News, Oregon, wildfire

Banks Fire sends crew to fight Larch Creek Fire

A wildfire in central Oregon’s Wasco county has prompted a response from state, federal, and local agencies, and is now drawing firefighters from around the state, including Banks Fire District, to help stop the flames.

Sparked Tuesday between Dufur and Tygh Valley, the Larch Creek Fire was estimated late Tuesday night to be at least 2,500 acres with no containment.

Temperatures hit 107 degrees in the area Tuesday, and gusty winds were expected to continue into Wednesday.

Tuesday night, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act, which allows the state fire marshal to mobilize additional state resources.

“Banks Fire Volunteer Lt Julie Kemper and Volunteer Jaxon Herrman left this morning on [Brush Rig 13] as part of the Washington County conflagration task force,” Banks Fire said Wednesday morning.

“Wishing you both, and all personnel supporting the firefighting efforts, a safe return,” the district said.

Also part of the Washington County task force were crews and equipment from Hillsboro Fire & Rescue, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, and Gaston Fire Department, sending a total of 14 people, four engines, and one water tender to the fire, a spokesperson for the Oregon Department of the State Fire Marshal said in an email to the Banks Post.

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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