National News

Cause of massive fire under investigation

Posted July 23, 2018 11:17 a.m. EDT

— Firefighters continue to make great progress on the Substation Fire, which has burned more than 78,000 and is 92 percent contained as of Monday morning.

Fire officials said more accurate mapping shows that the fire, which has been burning east of The Dalles since last Tuesday, covered a total of 78,425 acres.

Officials also said fire behavior was minimal on Sunday, and that there was some smoldering in hotspots along the Deschutes River and 8 Mile Canyon. Dry and hot weather is expected to continue through the week.

With minimal fire behavior, some of the crews from across the state are able to return home.

The Wasco County Sheriff's Office and the Sherman County Sheriff's Office lowered all evacuation levels Sunday morning to Level 1, which means "be ready."

One person has died as a result of the fire. Investigators said 64-year-old John Ruby was creating a fire line with his tractor to protect neighboring property when he died from exposure to the fire.

Four homes have been destroyed, four homes were damaged and 48 outbuildings have been destroyed by the fire.

A GoFundMe account has been established to help fire victims with basic necessities, such as groceries and transportation. Additionally, a separate GoFundMe account has been set up to help feed a herd of cattle that survived the fire.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.