Baker County’s Emergency Management Department issued a notice Monday morning to about 10 homeowners north of Richland asking them to be ready to possibly evacuate after a grass fire started near the Eagle Creek Road.
The Dry Gulch fire started about 7 miles north of Richland.
As of press time late Monday afternoon, no one had been evacuated. The fire had burned an estimated 300 acres, said Larisa Bogardus, public information officer for the BLM’s Vale District.
The fire was 50% contained as of 3:30 p.m. Monday, and full containment was projected for Tuesday afternoon.
Jason Yencopal, Baker County’s emergency management director, said that after law enforcement notified residents in 10 homes, winds pushed the flames toward the east and away from the homes. Bogardus said firefighters are protecting all the threatened homes.
Bogardus said the fire started on private property and then burned onto public land. The Eagle Valley Rural Fire Protection District responded first after the fire was reported around 11:30 a.m.
By mid-afternoon two single-engine air tankers, one from Vale and one from La Grande, were dropping retardant to block the fire’s advance, along with a larger multi-engine air tanker from Redmond, Bogardus said.
Two Forest Service fire crews and two engines were working on the fire along with BLM crews. The 20-member Vale Hotshot fire crew, two other crews and a bulldozer were also en route.
The fire was human-caused and is under investigation, Bogardus said.