Wallowa County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that a Level 3 evacuation order is in effect in Troy.

The US Forest Service reported that the Grizzly Bear Complex Fire made a significant run to the east this afternoon pushed by sustained winds of 10 miles per hour and gusts up to 25 miles per hour. The plume is now visible from La Grande, Oregon, Walla Walla, Wash. and surrounding communities.

A Level Three Evacuation notice was issued by Wallowa, Garfield and Asotin County officials for the Eden Bench, Troy and Grouse Flat communities. Level Three Evacuation means danger is currently affecting your area or is imminent, and you should leave immediately. Forest officials have recommended a Level One evacuation notice for the outlying communities north and east to Anatone, Washington.

Troy school teacher, Fred Byers, made it to Enterprise at 4:45 p.m. and briefed the Chieftain on what he had seen before departing.

“You can’t see the fire, but the smoke is red and thick and it’s awful,” Byers said. “They ran a fire break from Wenaha to Bartlett Road today and the fire manager told me that 500 firefighters are expected. I was told they’d be stationed in the Troy school yard, so I called Karen Patton at the Education Service District and we made sure the yard was prepared for them.”

The Chieftain was unable to confirm the number of firefighters expected.

Byers said that some residents did not seem to be preparing to leave and that several ranchers were still trying to get their cattle out of the area.

“There’s a fair amount of livestock on Bartlett Bench north of Troy and Eden Bench south of Troy,” he said.

Byers said that Sheriff’s Deputies were putting up roadblocks to prevent anyone from entering the area when he left.

There is no cell service in Troy and radio transmission is difficult to maintain.

Chieftain reporter Steve Tool is currently with the Wallowa County Sheriff’s Office in Troy and will file his report later tonight.

County Commissioner Mike Hayward is on his way back to the county with a report on the interagency meeting held in Walla Walla this afternoon, but was entering an area where no cell service was available when last contacted.

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