Oregon Governor invokes Conflagration Act as Sturgill Fire grows

By on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022 in More Top Stories Northeastern Oregon News

LOSTINE, OR —(Press release from Sept. 5) Governor Kate Brown today invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act in response to the Sturgill Fire burning south of the community of Lostine in Wallowa County. This declaration allows the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) to mobilize resources and take unified command. The fire is currently estimated to be 12,000 acres in size, and the Wallowa County Sheriff’s Office has issued evacuation orders for areas near the fire.

“The Sturgill Fire grew rapidly today and has the potential for further growth in the coming days, which requires additional resources to support response efforts,” said Governor Brown. “This is a good reminder that conditions can change quickly and that fire knows no bounds. With forecasted weather conditions this week and numerous fires in the wilderness areas near communities, it is important for all Oregonians to be prepared. Follow all evacuation orders, and continue to follow local and statewide fire prevention regulations to keep our communities safe and our natural resources protected.”

In accordance with ORS 476.510-476.610, Governor Brown determined that a threat to life, safety, and property exists due to the fire, and the threat exceeds the firefighting capabilities of local firefighting personnel and equipment. The Governor’s declaration cleared the way for the State Fire Marshal to mobilize firefighters and equipment to assist local resources battling the fire and further support a coordinated response.

With forecasted winds and multiple lightning-caused fires already burning near communities in Oregon, OSFM will remain vigilant with response efforts. An OSFM Incident Management Team is already mobilized and will remain in place to assume unified command of the Sturgill Fire. OSFM will assess response needs with the forecasted weather and fire conditions and bring in additional task forces through the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System as needed.