Fire in hemp manufacturing plant prompts evacuation of small Oregon town

The Sherman County Sheriff’s Office ordered all 150 residents of Grass Valley to evacuate the small city after a hemp manufacturing plant caught fire Sunday afternoon. The evacuation order was lifted around 11:30 a.m. Monday.

Five employees were burned in the blaze, with one person suffering “significant burns,” the sheriff’s office said.

Residents were evacuated to the city of Moro, about 9.5 miles from Grass Valley, because the chemicals stored in the plant posed a risk for a larger explosion. The American Red Cross set up an overnight shelter at Sherman County High School, according to a Facebook post from Sherman County Emergency Services.

Flames engulfed the building for several hours and the sheriff’s office reported multiple explosions. They captured a photo of a large mushroom cloud coming from the facility Sunday night.

Crews from the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Department of Environmental Quality came to investigate Monday, the sheriff’s office said. Officials have not identified the cause of the fire.

U.S. 97 was closed in the area, but has been reopened.

Grass Valley is aboutr 125 miles east of Portland in Sherman County.

– Austin De Dios;; (503) 319-9744

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