NEAR LYLE, Wash. - About 60 firefighters battled a wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge Thursday that is threatening structures and forcing some people to evacuate.
The wildfire is burning three miles west of Lyle, near the Klickitat River and it has grown to more than 1,000 acres.
Several structures are threatened, according to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and firefighters are on high alert because of high winds in the area. But according to Jim Duck, of the Central Washington Interagency Communications Center, no structures have been lost and there have been no injuries.
He said the fire is mostly burning in grass, brush and timber, and very little of it is contained.
Residents living north of Lyle Snowden Road and up to McPherson Road are being evacuated. The Lions Club in Lyle has opened its doors to those who need shelter.
Several fire districts and agencies are working the wildfires.
One woman from the area says some of her land has been burned in the fire.
She said high winds blew a ponderosa pine tree down on a power pole and sparks from the wires started the fire, but investigators have not released an official cause.
Three helicopters performed aerial drops of water on Thursday and an air tanker dropped retardant. More fire crews are expected to join the fight on Friday.
Meanwhile, a wildfire is also burning south of Pullman, Wash. Strong winds have been fanning the flames there, forcing the closure of the southbound lanes of Route 195, four miles south of the college town. A detour was put in place. There are several other wildfires burning across Eastern Washington as well.
A statewide burn ban is in place in Washington. The ban includes all forestlands in Washington except for federal lands. During the ban, designated campgrounds may allow campfires in approved fire pits. The Department of Natural Resources or the campground may put additional restrictions in place, including a ban on campfires, depending on weather conditions.
FOR THE LATEST WILDFIRE UPDATES
- Department of Natural Resource Twitter feed
- The National Incident Information System (InciWeb)
- Highway closures/updates from WSDOT
- Daily updates on burn restrictions and Industrial Fire Precaution Levels by zone are available on DNR’s website or by calling 1-800-323-BURN. For a map of all IFPL zones in Washington State, click here.