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Western Washington wildfires continue to rage as air quality suffers

A number of wildfires are ongoing across the state.

WASHINGTON, USA — A recent spell of dry and hot weather in western Washington has allowed several wildfires to pop up, impacting thousands of acres of land and initiating closures of certain roadways.

It’s already the middle of October, but fires continue to rage throughout western Washington, including a couple of fires in Skagit County that have increased in size over the hot weekend. Fires are also burning in Snohomish, King, Clark, Lewis, Skamania and Cowlitz counties.

Jim Creek Fire

A brush fire that began Oct. 16 in the Jim Creek Naval Recreation Area in Arlington has expanded and forced personnel and guests to be evacuated from the area.

Around 31 Navy firefighters and community responders were fighting the fire, which is active on neighboring Wheeler Mountain and Blue Mountain. As of Tuesday morning, the fire on Wheeler Mountain covered 70 acres and was 100% contained, and the fire on Blue Mountain had burned 20 acres and was 20% contained.

Fire officials said digging equipment was being used to further contain the fire on Blue Mountain.

Officials said there is no indication evacuations would be necessary for areas around Jim Creek as of Tuesday morning. There is no reported damage to any buildings or Navy property.

Bolt Creek Fire

This human-caused fire began on Sep. 10 and has burned 14,713 acres, according to InciWeb. The fire was 43% contained as of Wednesday morning.

US 2, which has been opened and closed in portions multiple times since the fire began, remains open but "may be subject to intermittent delays" if more debris falls onto the road.

All evacuation orders were lifted for King or Snohomish counties on Oct. 17 at 6 p.m.

Click here for more information.

Nakia Creek Fire

Burning in southwestern Washington near Camas, this fire has burned more than 1,800 acres and is 12% contained as of Tuesday afternoon. The fire began Sunday, Oct. 9, and is believed to be human-caused.

The Larch Corrections Center, located about 5 miles from the fire, evacuated inmates Monday as Level 3 (Go Now) evacuation notices went out to a number of homes. Click here for the latest evacuation zone information.

Suiattle River Fire

This fire began on Aug. 30 and is believed to have been caused by lightning. The size of the fire is estimated at about 2,288 acres as of Wednesday morning.

A Level 3 (Go Now) evacuation notice was issued Monday for the Lower Suiattle River Valley.

One resident expressed frustration with how long it's taking to combat the fire, but U.S. Forest Service representatives said crews have been facing unfavorable conditions for getting more of a handle on the blaze. 

 “We’ve fought the fire, we’ve had people out there, we’ve been assessing management actions to take,” said Jim Chu with the U.S. Forest Service. “More heat recently it’s been hotter, drier and windier, so I think those factors resulted in the fire growth.”

Goat Rocks Fire

This fire southeast of Mt. Rainier is 6,013 acres and is 2% contained as of Wednesday morning. All areas north of Butter Creek are at Level 2 (Be Set) evacuation notices, which include Upper and Lower Timberline, Goat Rocks, River Dance, and parts of High Valley. 

Murphy Lake Fire

Burning about 2.5 miles southeast of Scenic in King County, this fire began from a lightning strike on Aug. 18 and has grown to 371 acres.

White River (& Irving Peak)

Another fire believed to be caused by August lightning, the White River and Irving Peak are actively burning on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. The fire is 14,412 acres and is 10% contained as of Tuesday afternoon.

Siouxon Fire

Believed to be caused by an abandoned campfire, the Siouxon Fire began on Sept. 22 in Skamania County. It has grown to 2,001 acres but is burning in steep, remote terrain and is not expected to escape the fire area.

Kalama Fire

The cause of this fire is still under investigation and began on Aug. 31 in Cowlitz County. It is 37% contained and stands at 495 acres. Firefighters believe it can be contained by the end of the month.

Map of wildfires in Washington state

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