fire

ROYAL CITY - As many as 10 firefighters from Mason County are ‘answering the call’ to help control a raging 5,000-acre-plus wildfire in Grant County today. Firefighters from North Mason Regional Fire Authority, Mason County Fire District 11, West Mason Fire and Mason County Fire District 6 were deployed at 7a.m. Wednesday morning.

Level 3 evacuations remain in place along Smyrna Canyon and Lower Crab Creek Road about five miles south of Royal City as the 243 Fire has grown to more than 5,000 acres.

Sheriff’s office officials say about 25 homes are threatened. Residents in the evacuation area have been notified by deputies who went door-to-door. An evacuation shelter has been opened at Royal Intermediate School.

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State mobilization resources were approved overnight and have been arriving throughout the morning Tuesday. The blaze, who is zero percent contained, is now under the command of the Southeast Washington Type 3 Incident Management Team.

The fire started Monday evening along Beverly Burke Road and state Route 243, east of the Wanapum Village. Strong winds overnight, which continue Tuesday, have pushed the fire east through heavy sagebrush, grass and olive trees. Winds up to 20 mph are expected through Tuesday night.

Several outbuildings have either been damaged or destroyed but fire officials say no homes have been damaged.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

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