OSU ecologist: Substation Fire is devastating for farmers

"In the coming years, there will be maintenance. They'll be worried about erosion and soil loss, so it's more than just the immediate impact," Range Ecologist Lisa Ellsworth said.

Posted: Jul 20, 2018 6:23 PM
Updated: Jul 21, 2018 1:41 PM

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- The Substation Fire is burning through wheat fields in Wasco and Sherman Counties, threatening the livelihoods of farmers.

That wildfire is now more than 70,000 acres and 15 percent contained.

Farmers were just getting into the wheat harvest before the fire started. Range Ecologist Lisa Ellsworth with Oregon State University said it was going to a particularly good year for farmers. She said this fire is devastating for them. 

Ellsworth said even when this wildfire is out, it could bring problems for farmers for years to come.

"In the coming years, there will be maintenance. They'll be worried about erosion and soil loss, so it's more than just the immediate impact," Ellsworth said

Some evacuation notices have been reduced as of Friday night. That's thanks to a major air attack on Thursday, along with a lot of hard work on the ground.

Ellsworth said wheat is one of the main agricultural crops in Oregon. She said it's also a major export, so the loss of crops could be felt nationally. 

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