Farmer killed in Substation Fire identified by Wasco County Sheriff's Office

The Substation Fire burns through brush Wednesday, July 18, 2018. The fire was more than 50,000 acres by the end of the day. (Photo: Chopper 2/KATU)

THE DALLES, Ore. – The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office identified the man killed in the Substation Fire as 64-year-old John Ruby, a longtime Wasco County resident.

Investigators believe Ruby was working to protect his neighbor’s property Wednesday by creating a fire line with a tractor to prevent the fire from advancing. Ruby was found dead near the tractor.

Sheriff Lane Magill and the entire Wasco County Sheriff’s Office extends their condolences to Ruby. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown also offered her condolences during a news conference Thursday morning.

The sheriff’s office says the Substation Fire is “incendiary in nature.” The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, Oregon State Fire Marshal, the Bureau of Land Management and the United States Forest Service are investigating the cause.

The investigation is ongoing and more information will be released when it is available.

Oregon State Police established a tip-line Thursday. Anyone with information on the cause should call 800-452-7888.

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