A small town in the state of Washington was evacuated due to a fast-moving fire that burned a half-dozen homes, as crews in California made progress against the state’s deadliest and largest wildfire of the year.
In Washington, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook that residents of Lind needed to flee due to the encroaching flames.
“At this time all residents of the town of Lind need to evacuate immediately,” the sheriff’s office said in the post.
Later Sheriff Dale Wagner said six homes had burned as well as eight other structures. With the help of state and local resources, Wagner said the fire was starting to calm down and by evening all evacuation orders had been lifted.
“They will be fighting it through the night to make sure it doesn’t flare up any more or get worse,” he said, adding that firefighters were dealing with high heat and windy conditions.
He said one firefighter suffered smoke inhalation and was flown to Spokane for treatment.
The evacuation comes as California and much of the rest of the western region of the United States is in a drought and wildfire danger is high, with the historically worst of the fire season still to come. Fires are burning throughout the region and forecasters have also warned that spiking temperatures and plunging humidity levels could create conditions for further wildfire growth.
Scientists have said climate change has made the West warmer and drier during the last 30 years and will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive. California has seen its largest, most destructive and deadliest wildfires in the last five years.
Lind is a community of about 500 people approximately 121km southwest of Spokane. Homes, infrastructure and crops were threatened. The cause of the fire was under investigation.