A series of wildfires burning in the Spokane region have destroyed at least 16 homes and continued to grow Monday.
The fires started Sunday afternoon amid high winds and temperatures in the 90s.
One fire was near Davenport in Lincoln County, just west of Spokane. It had scorched more than nine square miles by Monday morning and destroyed at least six homes, according to the state Department of Natural Resources. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said 11 structures had been destroyed, a figure that included homes, garages and outbuildings.
The fire jumped the Spokane River and threatened the small community of Wellpinit on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Residents were told to evacuate after the town lost power.
Another wildfire, south of Spokane near the town of Spangle, destroyed at least 10 homes and numerous other structures on Sunday, according to the Washington State Patrol.
Firefighters were aided by local farmers in building fire lines Sunday night, the state patrol said.
Blaze near Kahlotus threatens homes, knocks out power
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.
Wildfire south of Toppenish now estimated at 6,500 acres
TOPPENISH A wildfire burning south of Toppenish has grown to 7,000 acres - nearly 11 square miles - but is now 50 percent contained and weather conditions are aiding firefighters.
The fire, which had been burning since Sunday afternoon, was between U.S. Highway 97 and Plank Road, said Everett Isaac, program manager for the Yakama Nation Tribal Forestry. About a dozen homes were threatened by the fire, Isaac said.
Evacuation orders issued overnight Sunday have been lifted, with nearby residents told instead to stay alert for potential flare-ups.
Walla Walla fire contained, roads reopen
Crews have contained the 15,000-acre fire that closed highways two miles north of Walla Walla late Sunday night.
Several agencies responded to the Dry Creek Fire, which forced road closures and evacuations in the area and closed off Highway 125 north of the Washington State Penitentiary to Highway 124, according to Walla Walla County Emergency Management.
Walla Walla County had lifted all evacuation levels as of 10 p.m. Sunday.
The fire was contained by about 11:15 p.m. once Highway 125 reopened, according to a release from the Washington State Department of Transportation.
No homes or buildings were lost in the fire.
Eastern Oregon wildfire now estimated at 50 square miles
PORTLAND A wildfire spotted Sunday afternoon in Eastern Oregon has quickly become one of the state’s largest active blazes.
Fire officials say the Cherry Road fire has scorched nearly 50 square miles of brush and grass near the Idaho state line. Officials say the fire’s size was reduced from 80 square miles due to better mapping.
Bureau of Land Management spokesman Larry Moore says the wildfire is burning two miles east of the Owyhee Reservoir and it’s threatening Succor Creek State Park.
One hundred firefighters battled the fire Monday morning. Forecasters were expecting afternoon wind gusts of 25 mph.
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.
Also in Eastern Oregon, firefighters have contained 35 percent of a large wildfire that started July 31 near Unity. The fire made a run toward the Table Rock Lookout late Sunday, spreading 300 yards in one minute. The lookout was spared – thanks to it being wrapped beforehand with aluminum sheets– but an old outhouse was destroyed.
Wildfire expands but key route through central Idaho reopens
LOWMAN A central Idaho wildfire has expanded to 150 square miles but a key route through the area reopened over the weekend.
Residents of about 125 homes in the area on Monday remain under low level evacuation notices but none have been told to flee.
The Banks-Lowman Road opened on Saturday after crews cleared trees and rocks that fell on the pavement after the fire moved through.
Motorists are urged to not stop where helicopters are dipping water because operations must be stopped if vehicles are too close.
The fire burning timber in remote, mountainous backcountry is 50 percent contained but is expected to burn at least until the end of September when cooler weather along with rain or snow arrives.