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Washington state town evacuated as wildfire burns six homes


A small town in Washington state was temporarily evacuated Thursday after a rapid-fire wildfire destroyed at least six homes, authorities said.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook Thursday that residents of Lind, Wash., should evacuate due to the continuing threat of flames.

The Lind Fire destroyed six homes and eight other structures and burned about 2,500 acres, Adams County Sheriff Dale J. Wagner said in a Facebook video update.

Lind is a rural town of approximately 500 people located in Adams County, the heart of the state’s wheat farming community.

Photos of the blaze circulating on social media showed plumes of smoke rising above the city, located about 72 miles southwest of Spokane. It is not immediately clear what caused the fire or how many people were temporarily displaced from their homes.

Roads were closed as state and local volunteer firefighters worked to contain the blaze, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office said. Two planes and a helicopter were deployed as part of the containment effort, authorities said.

A firefighter was airlifted to Spokane to be treated for smoke inhalation, according to Sheriff Wagner, who noted that windy conditions could have been “a major factor in the blaze.”

Thursday evening, the fire was brought under control and the evacuation order had been lifted.

“Firefighters will be working through the night to make sure the fire does not reignite,” the sheriff’s office said.

The American Red Cross said it opened an emergency evacuation shelter at an elementary school to help those displaced by the fire.

Wildfires are increasing in size and intensity in the western United States, and wildfire seasons are getting longer. Recent research has suggested that heat and drought associated with climate change are the main reasons for the increase in bigger and stronger fires.

nytimes

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