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Gov. Brown invokes emergency act for White River fire

People who live along a state highway east of Portland have been ordered to evacuate because of a wildfire, and Gov. Kate Brown has authorized additional resources to fight the blaze.

Brown invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act Friday for the White River fire in Wasco County, determining that it is dangerous and exceeds local firefighting capabilities. The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal is now able to mobilize resources to assist local crews battling the flames.

The lightning-caused blaze was discovered Aug. 17, has burned more than 4,500 acres (1,821 hectares) and is 10% contained.

Earlier this week a firefighting helicopter pilot died in a crash while working the White River fire.

“This month, firefighting resources have been stretched to deal with 11 large wildfires,” Brown said in a statement. “I am asking all Oregonians to remain vigilant with any activity that could spark a wildfire."

KOIN reported that the Level 3 evacuation orders were issued Thursday for an area along Highway 216 where the White River fire is burning. The fire is located about 80 miles (128 kilometers) east of Portland.

Photo courtesy of InciWeb