The evacuation order for the town of Roosevelt has been lifted after a fast-growing wildfire bypassed the community.
Update, 3 p.m. | ROOSEVELT, Wash. — The evacuation order for the town of Roosevelt has been lifted after a fast-growing wildfire bypassed the community.
Fire spokesman Ron Fryer says people are being allowed back in their homes in the Columbia River town on Wednesday afternoon. He says residents remain under notice to be able to leave quickly if conditions change.
He says none of the 350 homes that were threatened in the area have burned.
Fryer says the grass fire that began Tuesday has now grown to 26 square miles after being reported at 15 square miles earlier in the day.
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Highway 14 through Roosevelt remains closed.
Original post | ROOSEVELT, Klickitat County — A wildfire burning near the Oregon border has forced the evacuation of an entire small Washington town, authorities said.
The Klickitat County sheriff’s office issued the mandatory order for Roosevelt Tuesday afternoon.
An estimated 300 people were evacuated, and a shelter was set up in a local school.
State fire assistance has been mobilized to support local firefighters in battling the blaze that has grown to an estimated 10,000 acres, according to the state patrol.
Several barns and other structures burned after the grass fire erupted about 1 p.m., but no homes had been damaged by nightfall, officials said.
The sheriff’s office said early Wednesday that the evacuation order was still in effect and that crews had so far been successful in shielding residences.
Jeff King, the county director of emergency management, said fire crews are focused on structure protection.
He said that the evacuation order was necessary because the fire was burning in several parts of Roosevelt, located about 120 miles east of Portland.
Six Klickitat County fire departments, plus a team from the Bureau of Land Management and Washington State Air resources were fighting the fire.
Traffic is being detoured around a section of Highway 14 that has been closed by the fire.
Roosevelt, on the banks of the Columbia River, was on the route of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.