Kahlotus residents remain without power and phone service as 200 firefighters continue to fight a fire that started near Highway 260 on Sunday.
The blaze, which began near Copp Road near Connell and spread toward Kahlotus, has burned about 5,900 acres and was about 60 percent contained as of 11 a.m. Tuesday, said Franklin County Emergency Management officials.
The size of the fire damaged area was reduced from initial reports, said Justin Ratcliffe with emergency management.
Highways 261 and 263 have now reopened. Wadsworth Road remains closed.
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No homes were lost, but a barn and two other farm buildings were destroyed, officials said. No people or animals were reported injured.
The fire has mostly been fought on the ground, but at least one helicopter has helped with the effort because some of the fire has been in canyons and gulches that are difficult to reach, said Ratcliffe.
An evacuation order was lifted Monday for the city of Kahlotus, but the town continues to be without electricity, landline phone service and cell coverage.
Crews with the Franklin County PUD and Big Bend Power are working around the clock to restore the service, said Ratcliffe. However, because of the numerous power poles and lines destroyed by the fire, the current estimate is that utilities won’t be restored until Friday or Saturday.
Franklin Fire District 1 firefighters are being helped by other crews in the region and by the state Fire Protection Bureau, which helps coordinate fire crews and resources.
Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency Tuesday for 20 Eastern Washington counties. The proclamation covers Benton, Franklin, Yakima, Walla Walla, Adams, Asotin, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens and Whitman counties.
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