Residents of several neighborhoods near The Dalles have been asked to evacuate their homes, even as Interstate 84 reopened after a brief closure for a wildfire.
The interstate was closed five miles west of The Dalles because of a lack of visibility. It was closed for a 23-mile stretch — from milepost 64 in Hood River to milepost 87, which accesses The Dalles Bridge and the junction to US 197.
Around 4:30 p.m. the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office said both directions of I-84 were open, but urged drivers to proceed with caution, as there was still an active fire at the Port of The Dalles, and drivers could be asked to stop again.
The Sheriff’s Office has announced level 3 evacuations for several neighborhoods, meaning they should immediately leave their homes.
The areas under immediate evacuation orders are the Port of The Dalles, River Road, Columbia Road, Steelhead Road, Columbia Road, Crates Way, Klindr Drive, Golf Course Apartments, Pinewood Mobile Manor and Discovery Center.
A spokesperson for Mid-Columbia Fire Rescue, the agency handling firefighting duties, said the cause for the fire was not immediately clear, but it is believed to have started on the eastbound side of I-84 and jumped the freeway.
The closure includes all east and westbound lanes. Oregon Department of Transportation officials said eastbound traffic would be rerouted via Oregon 35 to US 26 and US 197, which joins back with I-84. Westbound traffic will take that route in the reverse.
ODOT said there are power lines down in the area that are complicating firefighting efforts, and said they estimate it will take at least 2 hours to restore power lines.
No information about the duration of the closure has been released. Travelers should monitor TripCheck.com for the latest traffic information.
This report will be updated.
— The Oregonian/OregonLive