MANSFIELD — The Road 11 Fire threatening Mansfield is now the focus of a state mobilization, with more fire resources from outside the area freed up to help tackle fast-moving blaze.
The fire ballooned from 2,000 acres to 10,000 acres in just a few hours Saturday, burning in grass, sagebrush and cultivated wheatfields. It triggered Level 2 evacuation notices for the town of Mansfield itself and for 10 surrounding homes, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said. An estimated six structures have been lost.
The Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office said the state mobilization was effective at 5:30 p.m., after a request from Douglas County Fire District 1 Chief Dale Jordan. The mobilization announcement, issued at 7:30 p.m., said Level 3 “get out now” evacuation notices had been issued, but did not specify location.
Mobilization specialists from the Fire Protection Bureau said they ordered a Type 3 team, one bulldozer, two helicopters and three task forces to the Road 11 Fire, which will be directed by a Type 3 Incident Management team.
The Road 11 Fire started about 12:47 p.m., near the junction of Road 11 and Road E Northwest between Withrow and Mansfield. Strong winds quickly drove it east across Highway 172 and toward Mansfield. The cause is under investigation.
McNeil Canyon Road and Highway 172 at Road B northeast remained closed as of 8 p.m. to allow firefighting traffic. The Douglas County PUD reported power outages in the area caused by the fire, and the sheriff’s office said phone service in Mansfield was also down.
Local farmers assisted firefighters by digging a fire line along Mansfield’s western edge, deputies said.