Fires threaten homes in Washington, Oregon

A large fire has closed Highway 97 over Satus Pass


While Walla Walla area firefighters quickly handled a blaze Sunday on Biscuit Ridge, crews around Eastern Washington and Oregon have been battling growing wildfires threatening homes.

A fire near Goldendale, Wash., has grown to nearly 27 square miles.

The fire along the top of Satus Pass is threatening about 144 structures, including about 69 residences. No structures have been destroyed but all have been evacuated.

About 1,100 people are working on the blaze. Most of Highway 97 between Goldendale and Toppenish remains closed.

Meanwhile, wildfire burning south of Wenatchee in the Colockum Pass area west of the Columbia River has grown to about 31 square miles.

Fire spokeswoman Karen Ripley reported on Monday the fire has burned three homes and several outbuildings since breaking out Saturday. About 60 residences have been evacuated.

Roads to the fire area, from both Kittitas and Chelan counties are closed.

The fire is only about 5 percent contained and officials expect it to continue to grow.

In Oregon, authorities are calling for more evacuations in the area of lightning-caused wildfires burning in southwest Oregon near Glendale.

The officials say residents of eight homes on Poorman Creek Road should leave because of the dangers posed by the 21-square-mile fire complex.

Those homes are in addition to 45 residences that had already been evacuated.

Fire spokesman Rich Hoover says the Douglas County Complex of fires threatens about 300 homes. About 750 people are fighting the fires. No injuries have been reported and no structures have been damaged.

Locally, officials confirmed this morning that the Biscuit Ridge Fire was likely caused by illegal fireworks. Crews were dispatched at roughly 1:30 a.m.

According to Fire District 8 Chief Bob Clendaniel, the fire was confined to 10 acres, and was put out by 4 p.m. Sunday.

District 8 was aided by districts 2, 4, Columbia County Fire District 3, Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service.

The Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office is handling the fire investigation.


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