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Saturday, August 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington

Residents told to leave as fire burns in central Washington

UPDATED: Sun., Aug. 13, 2017, 10:34 p.m.

A wildfire burns on a hillside above stopped railcars near Othello, Wash., early Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)
A wildfire burns on a hillside above stopped railcars near Othello, Wash., early Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

Authorities have told some residents to leave immediately as a wildfire threatens crops and homes in rural south-central Washington.

Called the East Saddle fire, it has burned two structures and has grown to about 17,000 acres as of Sunday afternoon. No injuries have been reported and it is unknown what type of structures were lost, said Ben Shearer, spokesman for the fire.

Level 3 evacuations were put in effect Sunday morning for the 25 to 30 residents in the following areas: Tauntin Heights Road, Danielson Road, BenchView Road, Loranben Road, Solomon Landing Road, Blue Bird Road, 2800-2900 W. Kuhn, 2800-2900 W. Bench Road and 2900 W. Gillis Road.

State resources have been tapped to fight the fire, including five strike teams consisting of 40 wildland engines and two dozers, as well as two helicopters. There is currently a total of 150 firefighters assigned to the fire, Shearer said. They are operating out of Othello High School.

A spokesman with the Southeast Washington Incident Management Team said rain has helped knock down the fire but wind and the presence of lots of fuel can help it spring right back.

Shearer said crews will be out Sunday to map the fire and get a better handle on its size and damage.

The fire began Saturday afternoon on the Adams and Grant county line near state Route 26 and Othello. The cause of the fire is unknown.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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