Wildfires raging through the state of Washington have burned more than 330,000 acres of brush and timber.Hurricane-force winds fanned the flames of
Wildfires raging through the state of Washington have burned more than 330,000 acres of brush and timber.
Hurricane-force winds fanned the flames of the Babbs-Malden Fire that burned 80% of Malden — a 200-person town near Spokane — to the ground.
WASHINGTON ‘FIRESTORM’ DESTROYS 80% OF SMALL TOWN AS WILDFIRES RAGE IN PACIFIC NORTHWEST
At least three of the nine significant blazes across the Pacific Northwest state intensified on Monday and at least two fires were still going strong, officials reported at a news conference on Tuesday.
State Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz reported that 58 fires across the state were started Monday, but that firefighters and National Guard troops were “able to put most of them out.”
Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, who was present at the same event, said more acreage was consumed on Labor Day “than in 12 of the last entire fire seasons in the state of Washington.”
“Almost all of these fires were human-caused, in some dimension,” he added. “If you can avoid being outside for anything that would even cause a spark, I hope people can avoid those conditions.”
“This is a new reality we’re living in with a changing climate,” Inslee said.
The two largest fires in Washington are Douglas County’s 174,000-acre Pearl Hill Fire and the 163,000-acre Cold Springs Fire near Omak.
The State Department of Natural Resources said there was no level of containment for either fire. Firefighters also had no containment of the Babbs-Malden Fire, which had charred 8,943 acres.
In the same region, Whitman County’s Manning Fire has consumed 3,100 acres and was 25% contained on Tuesday night.
The Department of Natural Resources closed all of the lands it manages east of the Cascades to recreation on Tuesday because of high fire danger.
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At least 100,000 people were out of power across the state on Tuesday. No deaths have been reported.
Hot, arid conditions with fast-moving winds are expected to continue throughout the week.