Firefighters battled a fire Thursday afternoon six miles southeast of Pendleton on Cabbage Hill that threatened several homes.
The fire, located on the Umatilla Indian Reservation, grew to about 80 acres and Oregon Department of Forestry spokeswoman Jamie Knight said 15 mile-per-hour winds caused it to spread through grass and timber stands.
Knight said eight residences and 16 out buildings were threatened by the fire, which ODF responded to just before noon.
Chuck Sams, the spokesman for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, said the fire started with a prescribed burn near Poverty Flat before wind expanded the blaze.
As of Thursday afternoon, Knight couldn’t provide a containment level for the fire.
Agencies responded to the fire with 10 engines, seven aircraft and three bulldozers. Responding agencies including, ODF, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Umatilla Tribal Fire Department, the Pendleton Fire Department, and the East Umatilla Rural Fire District.
The Oregon Department of Transportation is encouraging drivers traveling on Interstate 84 at milepost 225 to drive cautiously due to smoke from the fire. The shoulders could be closed for emergency vehicles and ODOT cautions that there could be long delays if conditions worsen.
ODOT has closed Old Highway 30 frontage road from mileposts 224 to 228 and Sams said Emigrant and Poverty Flat are closed.
According to the National Weather Service, winds will pick up going into Friday before a cold front sweeps through the area and brings possible isolated showers over the Blue Mountains.