SMYRNA, Wash. – About 25 homes in the small community of Smyrna are at risk of burning in a wildfire that’s already scorched more than 5,000 acres, and emergency evacuations are in effect.
Jim Mullen believes his sprinkler and defensible space surrounding his home mean he can stick it out as long as he can.
“This one seems a little worse,” he said. “There’s a lot of fuel on both sides and a lot of tough terrain.”
His Smyrna neighbors are used to wildfire, but they are not taking any chances, many are packing up what they need if they have to leave in a hurry.
“I think that makes me more frightened when I hear evacuate,” said homeowner Anita Sather.
The wildfire has already closed multiple roads south and west of Royal City. Flames were feeding off heavy sage brush and grass.
“When we left there was just smoke,” said Mary Vasquez from Smyrna who evacuated to a nearby Red Cross shelter.
“We’re just going to stay in Royal just to see how long it would take,” she said.
Meanwhile her neighbors plan to watch and wait as ash continues falling on their property.
“It’s nasty out here,” said Sather. “The black embers on the ground before were hot. That was a little bit nerve wracking.”
Authorities have not reported and so far, only a handful of outbuildings have been lost – but zero homes have burned.