WASHINGTON — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued a proclamation in response to severe damage caused by wildfires. The proclamation will allow people impacted by the wildfires to get financial assistance.
The funds will be provided through the DSHS' Family Emergency Assistance Program, which has been expanded to also serve individuals and waive the one-time distribution limitation.
Air quality remains moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups across most of the state, with worse conditions toward central Washington, according to the Washington Emergency Management Division.
The Sumner Grade Fire, which prompted Level 3 evacuations in Bonney Lake, has grown to 800 acres and is about 20% contained as of Thursday evening, according to East Pierce Fire.
The fire started on Monday, Sept. 7 alongside SR 410 and quickly spread due to winds and dry conditions. SR 410 remains closed due to the fire and downed power lines and is expected to stay closed at least through the weekend, according to WSDOT. Find traffic updates here.
Thursday, Sept. 10
East Pierce Fire & Rescue is fighting two small fires near Bonney Lake that are separate from the Sumner Grade Fire.
Bonney Lake police tweeted the two fires are behind the Safeway and there are no evacuations necessary at this time. Police said fire crews are getting a handle on those fires quickly, but people should avoid the area for safety.
The Pierce County fire marshal has determined a fire that started in Graham on Sept. 7 and prompted Level 3 evacuations was accidental.
The 244th Command Fire erupted when strong winds blew a tree down into power lines and caused the dry vegetation to catch fire, officials said Thursday.
The fire destroyed several buildings. Crews got it under control Wednesday and the Level 3 evacuations have since been lifted.
Washington State Patrol Troopers arrested a second person Thursday for allegedly starting a brush fire along a state highway.
Trooper Ryan Burke tweeted that a pedestrian allegedly set the grass on fire at SR 512 and SR 7 this afternoon. A person saw it happen and called 911. The suspect was arrested after a short foot chase and is being transported to jail, Burke said.
A different person was arrested Wednesday after allegedly starting a fire in the median off of SR 167 in Puyallup.
Crews made "good progress" battling the Cold Springs Fire in Okanogan County on Wednesday and overnight into Thursday morning, according to the response team.
Firefighters are focused on the Haley Creek area, which is where the most active fire is located. More crews are expected to work in that area Thursday.
The Cold Springs Fire has grown to 172,000 acres and is 10% contained.
The Okanogan County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the death of a Renton toddler who was killed in the fire earlier this week.
As of 7 a.m. Thursday, there were no changes to the Sumner Grade Fire evacuation zone.
State Route 410 remains closed between Sumner and Bonney Lake.
Air quality improved overnight but is expected the diminish throughout the day.
As of 6:30 a.m., air quality was good or moderate for most of the Puget Sound region. However, most areas around Puget Sound are expected to see air quality that's unhealthy for sensitive groups later Thursday.
Diminished air quality may last into the first of next week, according to KING 5 Meteorologist Rich Marriott.
Wednesday, Sept. 9
The Babb/Malden fire in Eastern Washington is now at 17,781 acres and 0% contained. According to KREM 2 News, 121 homes have been lost, 8 commercial properties are gone and 94 other structures have burned.
Wildfire decimated the town of Malden this week. Flames devoured 80% of the town's homes, along with city hall, the post office, and library.
A brush fire has been put out behind the Bonney Lake Target. Police said homes were evacuated in a 3-block radius of 19200 Old Buckley Hwy E.
All businesses on either side of 192nd Ave. E. were also evacuated while crews fought the blaze.
These roads remain closed as of 10 p.m. Wednesday:
- 192nd Ave from Old Buckley Hwy to SR 410
- Old Buckley Hwy from Angeline Rd E to Kelly Lake Rd
The Washington State Department of Agriculture is temporarily waiving import requirements for livestock from Oregon due to the wildfires. This means people can bring their livestock from Oregon to Washington state as long as they don't change ownership and return to Oregon within 30 days.
The ongoing wildfires in Oregon are putting a strain on the state as officials try to find enough space to house horses and other livestock.
For wildfire evacuees needing a place to store their belongings, U-Haul is offering 30 days of free self-storage at 10 different locations in Washington and 15 locations in Oregon. If you're interested or need help finding out more, contact your nearest U-Haul location.
Firefighters knocked down a brush fire east of Pierce College near Wildwood Park Drive. Avoid the area many roads will be closed. Follow social media for updates at this time.
Puyallup police tweeted that Central Pierce Fire quickly knocked down the brush fire, but traffic near Wildwood Park Drive may be detoured or delayed.
A man has been arrested for allegedly starting a fire in the median of SR 167 near Puyallup. Washington State Trooper Ryan Burke tweeted a photo that shows grass in the median on fire. The 36-year-old Puyallup resident is expected to be booked into jail, according to Burke.
A one-year-old child from Renton has tragically passed away and two adults are severely burned after a search near the Cold Springs Fire in Okanogan County.
Okanogan County Sheriff Tony Hawley identified the child's parents on as 31-year-old Jacob Hyland and 26-year-old Jamie Hyland of Renton, Wash. The couple was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for treatment.
Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz issued a statement after learning about the first fatality due to wildfires in Washington this season.
"My heart breaks for the family of the child who perished in the Cold Springs fire. I am devastated. The DNR family is devastated. The pain that family is going through is unfathomable," said Franz.
Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a statewide emergency due to the ongoing wildfires burning across the state. He is also planning to sign a proclamation that will allow families who have lost their homes because of wildfires to get cash assistance.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs in western Washington.
The funds were approved to help with the Bordeaux Road Fire burning in Thurston County and the Sumner Grade Fire burning in Pierce County.
Level 3 Evacuation orders have been lifted for the Bordeaux Fire has been lifted and verified residents can return to their homes. Only one lane of traffic is open and heavy fire agency traffic remains on Mima Road and the surrounding area, according to officials. The Bordeaux Fire has burned approximately 290 acres.
The Sumner Grade Fire burning near Bonney Lake has grown to 800 acres and is approximately 20% contained, according to East Pierce Fire & Rescue. At least four structures were destroyed. There are no injuries to report. SR 410 remains closed due to the fire and downed lines.
The Northwest Clean Air Agency has called a Stage 2 air quality burn ban for Island, Skagit, and Whatcom counties because high levels of wildfire smoke continues to impair the local air quality.
The ban will remain in effect until further notice, according to a statement from the agency. No outdoor burning is allowed, including residential and agricultural burning, during a Stage 2 air quality burn ban. Home heating with fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves is also prohibited. This ban includes recreational fires like campfires and fire pits.
All evacuation areas impacted by the Sumner Grade Fire were upgraded to level 3 overnight, according to Bonney Lake police.
The evacuation area includes portions of unincorporated Pierce County and areas within city limits.