City of Washington evacuated, some houses burned in a fire

City of Washington evacuated, some houses burned in a fire

CORRECTION Washington Wildfires (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

CORRECTION Washington Wildfires (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

A small town in Washington state was evacuated in a fast-moving fire that burned half a dozen homes, as crews in California made progress against the state’s deadliest and largest fire of the year.

In Washington, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook Thursday afternoon that Lind residents had to flee due to the overwhelming flames.

“Right now all residents of Lind Town must evacuate immediately,” the sheriff’s office said in the post.

Later Thursday, Sheriff Dale Wagner said six houses had been burned and eight other structures had been burned. With the help of state and local resources, Wagner said the fire was starting to calm down and by 8pm all evacuation orders had been lifted.

“They will fight it all night to make sure it doesn’t flare up any more or worse,” he said, adding that the firefighters were dealing with high heat and wind conditions.

He said a firefighter suffered smoke inhalation and was flown to Spokane for treatment.

Lind is a community of about 500 people approximately 75 miles (121 kilometers) southwest of Spokane.

The fire marshal’s office said the fire burned about 3.9 square miles (10.1 square kilometers). Homes, infrastructure and crops were threatened. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Meanwhile, in California, forecasters warned Thursday that rising temperatures and falling humidity levels could create conditions for further fires to grow.

California and much of the rest of the West are in drought and the danger of wildfires is high, with the worst of the fire season historically still to come. Fires are burning across the region.

After five days of non-containment, the McKinney fire in Siskiyou County, California near the Oregon border has been 10 percent surrounded since Thursday. Bulldozers and manual crews were making progress by cutting fire breaks around much of the rest of the fire, firefighters said.

In the southeastern corner of the fire, Yreka’s sectional evacuation orders, housing some 7,800 people, were downgraded to warnings, allowing residents to return home but with the warning that the situation remained dangerous.

About 1,300 people remained under evacuation orders, officials said at a community meeting Wednesday night.

The fire did not advance very far in the middle of the week, after several days of short but heavy rain due to thunderstorms that provided cloudy and wet weather. But as clouds clear and humidity levels drop over the next few days, the fire could break out again, authorities have warned.

“This is a sleeping giant right now,” said Darryl Laws, a unified commander of the burning incident.

Weekend temperatures could reach triple digits as the region dries up again, said meteorologist Brian Nieuwenhuis of the National Weather Service’s office in Medford, Oregon.

The fire broke out on July 29 and charred nearly 92 square miles (238 square kilometers) of forest left dry by drought. More than 100 houses and other buildings were burned and four bodies were found, including two in a burnt-out car in a driveway.

The fire was initially fueled by strong winds in front of a storm cell. Other storms earlier this week proved to be a mixed blessing. Heavy rain fell up to 3 inches (7.6 cm) on some eastern sections of the fire on Tuesday, but most of the fire area was next to nothing, said Dennis Burns, a behavior analyst at the fire.

The latest storm also raised concerns about possible river flooding and mudslides. A private contractor aboard a pickup truck who was helping firefighters was injured when a bridge collapsed and wiped out the vehicle, Kreider said. The contractor’s injuries were not life threatening.

The progress against the flames came too late for many people in the quaint village of Klamath River, which was home to around 200 people before the fire reduced many of the houses to ashes, along with the post office, community center and others. buildings.

Scientists say climate change has made the West hotter and drier over the past three decades and will continue to make the climate more extreme and fires more frequent and destructive. California has seen its largest, most destructive and deadly wildfires in the past five years.

In northwestern Montana on Wednesday, a fire that destroyed at least four homes and forced the evacuation of about 150 residences west of Flathead Lake continued to be blown north by winds, firefighters said.

The Moose Fire in Idaho burned more than 85 square miles (220 square km) in the Salmon-Challis National Forest as it threatened homes, mining and fishing operations near the town of Salmon.

And a fire in northwestern Nebraska led to evacuations and destroyed or damaged several homes near the small town of Gering.

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Associated Press reporters Christopher Weber in Los Angeles, Haven Daley in Klamath River, California, Lisa Baumann in Seattle, Amy Hanson in Helena, Montana, Margery Beck in Omaha, Nebraska, and Keith Ridler in Boise, Idaho, contributed to this relationship.

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