UPDATE at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 1: Closures to eastbound lanes of I-84 have extended to the Pendleton area as high-speed winds create hazardous firefighting conditions for crews combatting the blaze.
According to ODOT, the closure was extended to Exit 216, which is six miles east of Pendleton. Westbound lanes have also been shut down from Ontario to Baker City due to harsh conditions and poor visibility.
“The closures could remain in place for several hours,” ODOT stated in an emergency alert. “There are no viable local detours around the closure. Please DO NOT blindly follow GPS navigation apps/devices as they could lead you onto remote, unserviced roads not suitable for your vehicle.”
Part of the reason this closure was extended is that there is limited parking space available for trucks passing through the area, creating unsafe conditions for these vehicles and their drivers. Traffic is heavily congested in La Grande.
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BAKER CITY, Ore. — Dark plumes of smoke and a raging fire off the side of the roadway have forced Oregon traffic leaders to close the eastbound lanes of I-84 for an undisclosed amount of time on Thursday afternoon.
According to an emergency alert issued by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), eastbound lanes of the roadway are closed from Exit 304 in Baker City all the way to Exit 374 near Ontario.
ODOT officials say that westbound traffic along I-84 is not being impacted at this time. However, smoke and flames may be visible for people driving between mileposts 365 and 367.
This is a breaking news story. An update and/or follow-up may be issued if further details are revealed.