Wildfire Emergency Declared in 20 Washington Counties – Including Benton, Franklin
Washington emergency management, and Department of Natural Resources officials Wednesday declared the emergency condition due to extreme wildfire activity.
According to information released by Washington state officials:
"Firefighters are battling multiple fires in eastern Washington, including six that started on Tuesday. The fires are threatening more than 500 homes, resulting in numerous evacuations, and may result in additional damage to other homes, infrastructure, natural resources, and businesses.
In addition, extreme fire weather conditions and a lack of available firefighting resources in the Pacific Northwest could hamper future firefighting efforts in the state."
The state of emergency allows the Washington State National Guard and other agencies any and all resources to do whatever is necessary to control and fight the fires, as well as prevent the loss of buildings, infrastructure and loss of life. According to the release:
"The proclamation of emergency covers Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, Whitman, and Yakima counties."
Record, or near records temperatures are expected through Wednesday, possibly Thursday, and National Weather Service red-flag fire danger warnings are posted through the weekend for much of these counties.