Wildfire Scorches 1,700 Acres in Central Oregon, Triggers Urgent Evacuations

by | Jun 26, 2024 | News, Wildfires

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In some areas of Deschutes County, residents were urged to evacuate immediately to ensure their safety and to enable public safety personnel to assist them effectively. A small wildfire in central Oregon rapidly expanded on Tuesday, scorching roughly 1,700 acres by nightfall, triggering evacuations, and leaving thousands without power.

The fire, named the Darlene 3 Fire, swiftly spread on the outskirts of La Pine in Deschutes County, necessitating a regional firefighter response. As of Tuesday night, the fire continued to spread, according to the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch.

Firefighters arrived at the scene around 12:45 p.m. local time. Initially, the fire covered 3 to 5 acres, but within an hour, it had tripled in size. By nightfall, the fire had grown to 1,700 acres and was 0% contained shortly after 9 p.m. Evacuations were ordered in some areas, while residents in nearby locations were advised to be prepared to evacuate. Photos and videos on the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page showed black smoke rising behind several properties.

The U.S. Forest Service closed and evacuated nearby campgrounds and trails in Deschutes National Forest.

A shelter for evacuees was set up at La Pine High School, and a facility for livestock and pets was established at the La Pine Rodeo Grounds.

Governor Tina Kotek invoked Oregon's Emergency Conflagration Act, enabling the state fire marshal to deploy the full resources of the Oregon fire service to protect lives and property. Midstate Electric Cooperative warned some customers of a likely public safety shutoff due to the fires.

More than 2,000 customers were without power, according to the utility company.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

The fire's name, Darlene 3, reflects the area's history with wildfires. In 2021, the Darlene Fire burned nearly 700 acres and destroyed two homes, as reported by NBC affiliate KTVZ of Bend.

La Pine, a rural city about 30 miles southwest of Bend, has a population of around 2,500. The greater La Pine area has just under 20,000 residents. It is Oregon’s “youngest” city, having been incorporated in 2006, according to the city’s website.

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Written By Tyler James

Tyler James, founder of That Oregon Life, is a true Oregon native whose love for his state runs deep. Since the inception of the blog in 2013, his unbridled passion for outdoor adventures and the natural beauty of Oregon has been the cornerstone of his work. As a father to two beautiful children, Tyler is always in pursuit of new experiences to enrich his family’s life. He curates content that not only reflects his adventures but also encourages others to set out and create precious memories in the majestic landscapes of Oregon. Tyler's vision and guidance are integral to his role as publisher and editor, shaping the blog into a source of inspiration for exploring the wonders of Oregon.

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