USA–– New wildfires this week in Eastern Washington serve as a reminder that with hot temperatures come increasing wildfire risks, even as summer gradually winds into fall
YAKIMA A fire spokesman says firefighters are making progress against a wildfire that forced the evacuation of more than two dozen homes in a popular recreation area in the Columbia River Gorge.
Stan Hinatsu said a fire along Highway 141 was 10 percent contained and didn’t grow significantly Thursday. No structures were lost, and no one was injured.
Thursday night, it was burning nearly 2 square miles of timber and grass in south-central Washington.
Residents of 40 homes were told to evacuate, and residents of another 450 homes were warned they might have to leave. The fire started Wednesday north of the town of White Salmon, Klickitat County.
Low winds aided the firefighting effort Thursday, pushing the fire back toward areas that had already burned, and helped firefighters to fully contain two other wildfires that each burned across nearly a square mile in the state’s central region.
The new blazes served as a reminder that with hot temperatures come increasing wildfire risks, even as summer gradually winds into fall.
The fire near the gorge started in multiple spots along Highway 141. The exact cause has not been determined, but authorities said it’s not necessarily suspicious.
Meanwhile, fire crews south of the Tri-Cities in Eastern Washington contained a blaze that burned 700 to 800 acres near Paterson, Benton County, and temporarily closed Highway 14. The blade on a piece of heavy construction equipment struck a rock Thursday morning, sparking the blaze.
Crews to the north also fully contained a wildfire that started at about midnight Wednesday and blackened an estimated 700 acres near Ellensburg before firefighters contained it Thursday.
Seventeen homes were threatened for a time.
No structures burned and no injuries were reported in either fire.