A large fire that started on Highway 260 near Connell has moved east toward Kahlotus, where it threatened homes and forced some residents to evacuate.
The Kahlotus blaze, estimated to be more than 22,000 acres by Monday morning, started Sunday near Copp Road. The cause is unknown and under investigation, said the state fire marshal’s office.
Level 3 evacuations were ordered Sunday night, requiring some Kahlotus residents to leave immediately. By Monday morning, the residents were allowed to return, but the city remains without power, phone service and or cellphone services, officials said.
No homes were lost, but a hay barn was destroyed, said Franklin County Emergency Management officials.
Eric Mauseth, chief of Franklin Fire District 1, requested state help at 2:15 a.m. Monday.
The flames appeared to be most active in the Devil’s Canyon Gulch area. Highway 260 was closed at 11 p.m. Sunday between Connell and Kahlotus, but reopened at 10 a.m. Monday.
Under the state Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan, the Fire Protection Bureau coordinates the initial dispatch and continued oversight of resources and fire crews during the fire, the state said.
The mobilization plan provides a way to quickly notify, assemble and deploy firefighters, equipment and other resources from around the state when fires and other disasters exceed the capacity of local jurisdictions.
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