City of Washington evacuated, some homes burned in wildfire | Today Headlines

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LIND, Wash. (AP) — A small town in Washington state has been evacuated due to a fast-moving blaze that burned half a dozen homes, as California crews made progress against the most murderer and the most important of the year.

In Washington, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook early Thursday afternoon that residents of Lind had to flee due to the encroaching flames.

“At this time, all residents of the Town of Lind are required to evacuate immediately,” the sheriff’s office said in the post.

Later Thursday, Sheriff Dale Wagner said six homes burned along with eight other structures. With the help of state and local resources, Wagner said the fire was beginning to die down and by 8 p.m. all evacuation orders had been lifted.

“They’re going to fight it all night to make sure it doesn’t flare up again or get worse,” he said, adding that firefighters were facing high heat and windy conditions. .

He said a firefighter inhaled smoke and was airlifted to Spokane for treatment.

Lind is a community of approximately 500 people approximately 121 kilometers southwest of Spokane.

The state fire marshal’s office said the blaze had burned about 3.9 square miles (10.1 square kilometers). Homes, infrastructure and crops were threatened. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Meanwhile, in California, forecasters warned on Thursday that rising temperatures and falling humidity levels could create the conditions for further wildfire growth.

California and much of the rest of the West are experiencing drought and wildfire danger is high, with the worst fire season yet to come. Fires are burning across the region.

After five days without containment, the McKinney Fire in California’s Siskiyou County, near the Oregon border, was 10% surrounded on Thursday. Bulldozers and manual crews were advancing, cutting firebreaks around much of the rest of the blaze, fire officials said.

At the southeast corner of the blaze, evacuation orders for sections of Yreka, home to around 7,800 people, have been downgraded to warnings, allowing residents to return home but with a caveat that the situation remained dangerous.

About 1,300 people remain under evacuation orders, officials said at a community meeting Wednesday evening.

The fire didn’t make much headway mid-week after several days of brief but heavy rain from thunderstorms that provided cloudy, wet weather. But as clouds dissipate and humidity levels drop in the coming days, the fire could roar again, authorities have warned.

“It’s a sleeping giant right now,” said Darryl Laws, a unified incident commander on the fire.

Weekend temperatures could hit triple digits as the region dries out again, said meteorologist Brian Nieuwenhuis of the National Weather Service office in Medford, Oregon.

The fire broke out on July 29 and charred nearly 92 square miles (238 square kilometers) of forest land, left dry by drought. More than 100 homes and other buildings burned and four bodies were found, including two in a burnt-out car in a driveway.

The fire was initially fueled by high winds ahead of a storm cell. More storms earlier this week proved a mixed blessing. Driving rain on Tuesday dumped up to 3 inches (7.6 cm) on some eastern sections of the fire, but most of the fire area received virtually nothing, said fire analyst Dennis Burns. fire behavior.

The latest storm has also raised concerns about possible river flooding and landslides. A private contractor in a van helping to fight the fires was injured when a bridge gave way and swept away the vehicle, Kreider said. The contractor’s injuries were not life threatening.

Progress against the blazes has come too late for many people in the picturesque hamlet of Klamath River, which was home to around 200 people before the blaze reduced many homes to ashes, as well as the post office, community center and other buildings.

Scientists say climate change has made the West hotter and drier over the past three decades and will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive. California has seen its largest, most destructive and deadliest wildfires in the past five years.

In northwestern Montana, a fire that destroyed at least four homes and forced the evacuation of about 150 residences west of Flathead Lake continued to be pushed north by winds on Wednesday, said fire officials.

The Moose Fire in Idaho burned more than 85 square miles (220 square km) in the Salmon-Challis National Forest while threatening homes, mining operations and fisheries near the town of Salmon.

And a wildfire in northwest Nebraska prompted evacuations and destroyed or damaged several homes near the small town of Gering.

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Associated Press reporters Christopher Weber in Los Angeles, Haven Daley in Klamath River, California, Lisa Baumann in Seattle, Amy Hanson in Helena, Montana, Margery Beck in Omaha, Nebraska, and Keith Ridler in Boise, Idaho, contributed to this report.

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