Two large wildfires burning in Central Washington have destroyed several homes and caused many residents to evacuate.
Mile Marker 28 Fire
Nearly 17,000 acres have burned in the Mile Marker 28 fire near Goldendale along Highway 97. Several homes are under a mandatory evacuation while other residents are being told to prepare to evacuate.
U.S. Highway 97 from Toppenish to Goldendale remains closed.
The fire was 15 percent contained Sunday morning and the cause was still under investigation. More than 1,000 personnel and five helicopters are fighting the fire.
Colockum Tarps Fire
A brush fire south of Wenatchee destroyed three homes as of Sunday night, according to Rick Isaacson, spokesperson for Chelan County Fire.
The latest estimate was 7,000-to-10,000 burned acres at Colockum Pass, but Isaacson said with the increasing winds that the numbers were climbing beyond that. It was heading toward Crescent Bar.
It has forced evacuation of more than 60 homes and cabins in the area.
Two helicopters and an airplane are dropping water and fire retardant on the blaze. About 100 firefighters from Chelan and Douglas counties as well as the Washington Department of Natural Resources are working on the fire. No injuries have been reported.
Chelan County Fire Chief Bill Neckels says high temperatures and 30 mph winds are making the effort to fight this fire and protecting homes and cabins in the area more difficult.
Mount Si Fire
An 18-acre fire burning in steep, rocky terrain on Mount Si continued to burn Sunday, one of several wildfires across the state.
Approximately 50 firefighters are fighting the 444th Fire, named because it is burning near 444th Avenue just east of North Bend. More crews have been ordered to the scene. A Department of Natural Resources spokesperson said helicopters were able to cool flames at the head of the fire Saturday, slowing its progress.
The Mount Si Trail System remained closed Sunday.
There is no estimate of when the fire will be contained. The cause is under investigation.
The King County Fire Marshal's Office announced it issuing a fire safety burn ban in unincorporated areas of the county starting Monday because hot and dry weather has increased the risk of outdoor fires.
Recreational fires must:
- Be built in a metal or concrete fire pit, such as those typically found in designated campgrounds, and not be used as debris disposal
- Grow no larger than three feet in diameter
- Be located in a clear spot free from any vegetation for at least 10 feet in a horizontal direction, including at least 25 feet away from any structure and allow 20-foot vertical clearance from overhanging branches
- Be attended at all times by an alert individual and equipment capable of extinguishing the fire
For properties located within cities, contact your local jurisdiction for requirements.