The Valley View Fire (also called the Sunset Valley Fire) burned an estimated 987 acres southeast of The Dalles on Thursday evening, July 1, 2021.
The fire was first reported around 3:45 p.m. on the 3100 block of Valley View Drive near The Dalles. Strong winds pushed the fire, which was burning in mostly brush and wheat, in a southeast direction, forcing evacuations and road closures. The fire damaged one barn, several outbuildings, multiple vehicles and a portion of a cherry orchard.
Firefighters were able to protect the homes in the area and no injuries have been reported.
Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue was the lead agency for the response. The Oregon State Fire Marshal temporarily reassigned task forces from the Wrentham Market Fire while coordinating air attack from Oregon Department of Forestry resources. This decision, along with mutual aid from neighboring fire districts, was critical in stopping the rapidly advancing fire.
“Without the resources, we had today, including the three additional task forces and air support from OSFM, we would not have stopped it as quickly and the fire would have grown much larger,” said Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue Chief Robert Palmer. “What the state is doing is working. We were able to better protect properties with their assistance and support.”
Parts of Highway 197 south of The Dalles were closed Thursday evening, but are now open.
In all, more than 100 firefighters were part of the initial attack. Responding agencies included Mid-Columbia Fire, Dallesport Fire, Dufur Fire, Mosier Fire, taskforces from Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, and Hood River, Bureau of Land Management, and the US Forest Service. The Dalles Police, Wasco County Sheriff, Oregon State Police, and Oregon Department of Oregon Transport also assisted on scene.
Today’s forecast calls for increased afternoon winds, although the winds are not forecast to be as strong compared to recent days. An Excessive Heat Warning remains in place and low relative humidity will persist.
Taskforces from Marion, Yamhill, Multnomah and Linn Counties will spend the day mopping up hot spots, monitoring the perimeter of the fire, and expanding the defensible space around homes.
The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office issued several evacuations due to the fast-moving flames. Follow the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office for the latest evacuation information. Local residents can also sign up to receive future emergency notifications through the county.
Due to the dynamic nature of this new incident the fire was originally mislabeled as the Sunnyside Valley Fire.