WASHINGTON — Fifty-eight new wildfire starts ignited across the state in a 24-hour period, according to Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz.
"It is sad and horrific,” she told KING 5.
The highest priority fire is the Cold Springs/Pearl Hill Fire near Omak and Bridgeport, which has burned 280,000 acres since Sunday night.
"Over 100,000 more acres burned than all of last year, that one fire,” Franz said.
Statewide, wildfires have burned more than 330,000 acres. Firefighters have made progress at other fires.
Last week, the Evans Canyon Fire ignited near Naches in Yakima County. It's now 70% contained and resources are being moved from that fire to other more pressing fires.
"We've gotten a pretty significant handle on that fire about to then move our air resources off it,” Franz said, “We were able to also move more of our firefighters, so we have over 1,500 firefighters currently battling the flames."
In Malden, in Whitman County, 80% of the homes were lost as the fast-moving fire torn through the small town.
"What we have to do right now is help that community rebuild. Help every one of those homeowners, put everything we've got to it,” Franz said.
As the Department of Natural Resources fights fires statewide, they've closed all DNR operated recreation sites as a tactic to stop more fire from igniting.
"Not only concerned right now by the fires we have presently, but it's also what's going to happen in the next 24 hours. And that's why we have this urgent request out for people to do everything in their power not to start any fires. Help our communities, help our residents, help our firefighters,” Franz said.