(Update on power outage)
THE DALLES, Ore. (KTVZ) – A wildfire west of The Dalles in the Columbia River Gorge and downed power lines Wednesday afternoon closed Interstate 84 and U.S. Highway 30 in both directions and prompted Level 3 immediate evacuation notices, authorities said.
The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office issued the Level 3 evacuation for the Pinewood Manor Mobile Home Park, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and The Dalles Country Club around 2:30 p.m., urging people in the area to evacuate toward Rowena, to the west.
ODOT said I-84 was closed in the area of milepost 81 due to the fire and smoke hampering visibility. Two minor crashes were reported in the area, along with downed power lines complicating firefighting efforts. Follow traffic updates at our ODOT TripCheck page.
ODOT said just before 4 p.m. that a 17-mile stretch of the freeway was closed, from milepost 64 to 87, with eastbound traffic being rerouted by Oregon Highway 35 to U.S. Highway 197 and north back to I-84 (reverse for westbound traffic).
Before 4:30 p.m., ODOT said it had reopened I-84 after downed power lines were pulled from the roadway, but the agency said it would be closed again later in the evening to restore power.
Power had to be cut near Rowena so that utility workers could repair downed lines. Northern Wasco County PUD said this would leave about 320 customers without power. An estimated time of repair wasn’t immediately available.