Continued dry weather and wind are contributing to the growth of wildfires in Washington and Oregon, which have threatened homes, prompted evacuations, closed some popular ski resorts and hiking trains and caused the governor of Washington to declare a state of emergency.
Even ash from the fires has fallen on the Seattle area.
Here are the largest fires affecting Washington and Oregon:
- The Eagle Creek Fire, on the border of Washington and Oregon, grew from 10,000 acres on both sides of the Columbia River Gorge to 20,000 since Monday, according to fire officials. It has also merged with the nearby Indian Creek fire and closures have been expanded “due to extreme fire behavior and rapid fire growth.” There are extensive evacuations and road closures along the Columbia River Gorge, including Interstate 84, which is closed from Troutdale to Hood River. This is a changing situation and the public is encouraged to check TripCheck.com for more information on road closures and evacuations.
- In Washington state, the Diamond Creek Fire, near the Canadian border in the Okanogan/Wenatchee National Forest, grew to from 75,000 acres Monday to 95,000 acres and has closed several roads and trails. The smoke from that fire continues to affect air quality in the upper Methow Valley.
- The Norse Peak Fire more than doubled its size in the last two days, growing to more than 43,000 acres, closing Crystal Mountain Ski Resort and prompting Level 3 “go now” evacuations of some residents in the Gold Hills Community and Pick Handle Basin, among others.
- The Jolly Mountain fire, near Cle Elum, Roslyn and Ronald, grew to more than 23,000 acres on Wednesday. It had previously caused the evacuation of more than 1,000 people.