DALLAS, Ore. – Firefighters from all over Western Oregon responded to a wildfire in Dallas on Saturday afternoon that shut down a section of Highway 22.
Though no houses were in immediate danger, the Oregon Department of Forestry, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Patrol evacuated 12 homes in the area as a precaution. The homeowners were allowed to come back later in the evening.
After several hours of work - and a little help when winds abated - crews had a better handle on the fire by 5 p.m. By 6 p.m., local crews were sent home, with the ODF remaining to finish the job.
A helicopter from ODF also aided in the effort.
Dallas Fire Department deputy chief Eriks Gabliks said the fire started from a lawnmower that was mowing a field.
“We had a very active fire when we arrived,” Gabliks said. “We had very active winds moving the fire basically around the valley floor to the east, to the west. It was also about a half-mile away from about a dozen structures we were worried about – some homes.”
The fire, which was spread across about 200 acres, was burning behind a winery that's still under construction north of Dallas.
Highway 22 was shut down near milepost 7, but it reopened.
Firefighters from Dallas, Yamhill, Polk County, Sheridan, Willamina, McMinnville and Depoe Bay responded to the fire.