Canby Fire Crew Deploys to White River Conflagration

A brave contingent from the Canby Fire District is again headed to Wasco County to aid the state’s response to a massive wildfire.

Barely a week after three Canby firefighters returned from several days at the head of the Mosier Creek Fire in Central Oregon, another crew was deployed this morning to the massive White River blaze — which has burned at least 4,500 acres in Wasco County and is an estimated 10% contained.

Like with Mosier Creek, Canby Fire was activated as part of a statewide response following Gov. Kate Brown’s emergency conflagration declaration for White River.

Division Chief Matt English tells The Canby Current the White River Fire is active near Pine Grove, an unincorporated community of some 200 souls.

At the time of the declaration — about 6:20 a.m. — 108 residences were under level 3 mandatory evacuation orders, with an additional 192 homes under level 2 and 1.

“The declaration made by Gov. Brown cleared the way for the State Fire Marshal to mobilize firefighters and equipment to assist local resources battling the fire,” English explained.

The Office of State Marshal’s Red Incident Management Team has been mobilized, and three structural task forces from Central Oregon and Clackamas and Washington counties, and personnel from the OSFM, arrived throughout the day Friday at staggered intervals using Covid-19 mitigation measures at the staging area in Tygh Valley.

Crews will be working to protect threatened structures and property, English said.

Firefighting resources across the state have been stretched this month in the wake of nearly a dozen large wildfires, Gov. Brown said.

“I am asking all Oregonians to remain vigilant with any activity that could spark a wildfire,” she said. “We all need to do our part to help the many firefighters who are on the frontlines by preventing human-caused wildfires during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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