LIND, Washington. An entire town in eastern Washington was evacuated Thursday because a wildfire was growing south of the city and burning homes, officials said.
On Thursday around 1:30 p.m. The Adams County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook that about 10 homes had burned in Linde. Lind, home to about 500 people, is about 75 miles southwest of Spokane.
“At this time, all residents of the City of Lindo must evacuate immediately,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement, adding that people may seek shelter at Ritzville Grade School.
Later on Thursday, officials clarified that six houses and eight other structures had burned.
Officials with the Washington Department of Natural Resources said Thursday they had expected the fire to move through the city, but Sheriff Dale J. Wagner said at about 5 p.m. stated that the fire was beginning to die down and evacuations remained only on the south side of Lindo.
“Right now I have information that it’s starting to die down,” Wagner said in a Facebook video about the fire. “They’re going to be fighting it all night to make sure it doesn’t catch fire again and it doesn’t get worse,” he said, adding that firefighters faced intense heat and windy conditions.
One firefighter suffered smoke inhalation and was flown to Spokane for treatment, he said.
The state fire marshal’s office said Thursday that state firefighters have been mobilized to help fight the blaze, which is estimated to have burned about 3.9 square miles. Homes, infrastructure and crops were threatened, officials said. The cause of the fire was under investigation.
Westbound State Route 21 at State Route 395 was temporarily closed in the area. According to the sheriff’s office, around 3:30 p.m. two planes and one helicopter assisted in extinguishing the fire.
The new fire was one of several that broke out in Washington this week.
A wildfire southwest of Spokane burned at least two structures Wednesday, and officials there told people to evacuate dozens of homes. The state Department of Natural Resources said Thursday that the Williams Lake fire had grown to 5 square miles (10.3 square kilometers) and was less than 10 percent contained.
Spokane County Fire District 3 Chief Cody Rohrbach said two structures were destroyed. It was not immediately known if these were primary residences or actively used. Williams Lake is approximately 32 miles (51.5 km) south of Spokane.
The Cow Canyon Fire, about 12 miles (19.3 kilometers) southwest of Ellensburg, also threatened structures and prompted mandatory evacuations after Wednesday afternoon.
The fire prompted emergency evacuation notices for about 50 homes or structures 10 miles north of Naches, The Seattle Times reported. By Thursday morning, the fire had grown to 8.75 square miles (22.6 square kilometers).
The Vantage Highway Fire near the town of Vantage, Washington, started Monday and burned a cabin and three outbuildings Thursday, officials said Thursday. The fire is estimated at 26.5 square miles (68.6 square kilometers) and is about 25 percent contained. Previous evacuation orders for residents have been lifted as of Thursday.
Climate change has made the West warmer and drier over the past three decades, and will continue to cause more extreme weather and more frequent and devastating wildfires, scientists say.