AP

1 dead, 185 structures destroyed in eastern Washington wildfire

Aug 19, 2023, 2:53 PM

DOT, WASHINGTON - JULY 23: Smoke rises from the Newell Road Fire on July 23, 2023 in Dot, Washingto...

DOT, WASHINGTON - JULY 23: Smoke rises from the Newell Road Fire on July 23, 2023 in Dot, Washington. Dry and windy weather has fueled wildfires in Washington state, including the large Newell Road Fire, which has reached about 50,000 acres in size. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

MEDICAL LAKE, Wash. (AP) — A wind-driven wildfire in eastern Washington state has destroyed at least 185 structures, closed a major highway and left one person dead, authorities said Saturday.

The blaze began shortly after midday Friday on the west side of Medical Lake, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) west of Spokane, and then expanded, Washington State Department of Natural Resources spokesperson Isabelle Hoygaard said.

It grew to nearly 15 square miles (38 square kilometers) by Saturday morning, with zero containment. The burned structures were a mix of homes and outbuildings.

Evacuations were ordered for the town as winds blew the flames southward, Hoygaard said.

She added that the blaze burned through the south side of the town and then jumped Interstate 90 on Friday night, forcing its closure. The major east-west thoroughfare remained closed in both directions Saturday morning.

“The fire is burning on both sides of the highway,” the Washington state Department of Transportation said on its webpage.

There was one confirmed fatality associated with the fire, Hoygaard said. Further details were not immediately released.

Staff, patients and residents at Eastern State Hospital, one of the state’s two psychiatric facilities, and those living at the Lakeland Village Residential Habilitation Center, both in Medical Lake, were sheltering in place Saturday, said Norah West, a spokesman for the Department of Social and Health Services.

Evacuees from the town were given shelter at a high school overnight.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

“My thoughts are with the … residents who have been ordered to evacuate as the Gray Fire grows,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said on X, formally known as Twitter. “I’m also praying for the safety of the first responders working to contain the fire. May you all remain safe and out of harm’s way.”

KSL 5 TV Live

AP

The Junkers Ju 52 aircraft "Kaleva" by the Finnish airline Aero is parked at the Katajanokka seapla...

Jari Tanner, The Associated Press

Remains of Finnish WWII plane shot down by Moscow with a US diplomat aboard is found

The World War II mystery of what happened to a Finnish passenger plane after it was shot down over the Baltic Sea by Soviet bombers appears to finally be solved more than eight decades later.

9 hours ago

This image released by Disney/Pixar shows Joy, voiced by Amy Poehler, left, and Anxiety, voiced by ...

Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press

‘Inside Out 2’ scores massive $155 million opening

Hollywood’s summer movie anxieties gave way to joy this weekend with the massive debut of Disney and Pixar’s “ Inside Out 2.” The animated sequel earned $155 million in ticket sales from 4,440 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, according to studio estimates Sunday.

12 hours ago

The Olympic rings are seen on the Eiffel Tower Friday, June 7, 2024, in Paris. The Paris Olympics o...

Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

IOC gives 14 Russians, 11 Belarusians neutral status for Paris Olympics in first round of decisions

The IOC approved 14 athletes from Russia and 11 Belarusians with neutral status to compete at the Paris Olympics in a first list from some sports published Saturday.

1 day ago

A driver blinks their hazard lights as heavy rain falls over parts of South Florida on Wednesday, J...

Associated Press

Much of US braces for extreme weather, from southern heat wave to possible snow in the Rockies

After days of intense flooding in Florida, that state and many others are bracing for an intense heat wave, while the Pacific Northwest will experience unseasonably cold weather and there is a potential for late-season snow in the Rocky Mountains early next week.

1 day ago

First responders arrive at Oaks Park for a ride that is stuck with multiple riders in Portland, Ore...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews have rescued 28 people after they were stuck for about half an hour dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park in Oregon.

2 days ago

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 12: The Olympic rings are seen on the Eiffel Tower ahead of the start of the P...

Tom Nouvian, Associated Press

Unsafe levels of E. coli found in Paris’ Seine River less than 2 months before Olympics

Water in the Seine River had unsafe elevated levels of E. coli less than two months before swimming competitions are scheduled to take place in it during the Paris Olympics, according to test results published Friday.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

1 dead, 185 structures destroyed in eastern Washington wildfire