GOLDENDALE, Wash. -- Evacuations have been issued as a wildfire along the Columbia River Gorge continues to grow.
According to the US Forest Service, the Milepost 90 Fire in Wishram, Washington had grown to 11,000 acres by Wednesday.
Level 3 (go now) evacuations were issued for:
- Wishram Heights, north of SR-14.
- The area east of Dalles Mountain Rd and west of Highway 97, south of Stringstreet Rd and north of Highway 14.
- South of SR-14 at Maryhill Winery to Highway 97 upper junction to include Pat's Ranch Mart (not including the town of Maryhill).
Level 2 (get set) evacuations were issued for:
- Wishram Heights south of SR-14.
- The community of Maryhill from Hwy 97 east to the John Day Dam Rd between Hwy 14 and the Columbia River.
SR-14 was closed between Highway 197 and Highway 97.
The American Red Cross set up a shelter at Goldendale High School.
The Milepost 90 Fire was first reported at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. It has burned brush on private, USFS and Bureau of Indian Affairs lands.
Inslee declares emergency in all Washington counties as wildfire threat intensifies
Gov. Jay Inslee signed an emergency proclamation Tuesday for all 39 counties to ensure the immediate response of firefighting resources to protect people, homes, businesses and public and private property from the threat of wildfire.
"Catastrophic fires are burning up and down the West Coast, putting a strain on our firefighting resources," Inslee said. "This proclamation ensures resources are ready to go at a moment’s notice to help protect our communities from another unprecedented fire season."
Dangerous fire fuel and weather conditions exist throughout the state. The proclamation allows for assistance from the Washington National Guard, which routinely trains and certifies soldiers and airmen to fight wildfires. Already, the Department of Natural Resources has requested from the Washington National Guard the use of aviation assets, as well as 20-person hand crews to be deployed to Eastern Washington.
Under the proclamation, the Washington State Emergency Operations Center is instructed to coordinate all assistance to areas affected by wildfire. The EOC has already been activated to support DNR and the state’s Fire Marshal’s Office, which have been leading ongoing firefighting efforts.
To prevent wildfires, DNR recommends that the public refrain from using fireworks, starting campfires in prohibited areas, parking vehicles on grass and throwing cigarettes out of car windows. Residents can also ensure that brush and woody debris are removed from the perimeter of their homes.