1 dead as latest fire portends explosive Northwest season

first_imgPORTLAND — A fast-moving fire fueled by gusting winds in the Pacific Northwest killed one person, forced dozens of households to evacuate and prompted Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to declare a state of emergency Wednesday.The flames near the city of The Dalles started Tuesday and expanded Wednesday to more than 56 square miles as the fire spread into vast fields of wheat while desperate farmers tried to salvage their crops in the midst of the harvest season.One person was found dead Wednesday a short distance from a burned-out tractor. The person was likely trying to use the heavy farm machinery to create a fire break to hold back flames, the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.Firefighters crept into the fields in water trucks and attempted to douse the leading edges of the fire from behind as it burned through acres of wheat, with everything behind the flames charred black.The news of the fatality also came as authorities on Wednesday ordered additional mandatory evacuations in the small communities of Moro and Grass Valley.last_img

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