Washington's Nakia Creek Fire swells to 2,000 acres; thousands of residents ordered to evacuate

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The Nakia Creek Fire in Washington state rapidly grew to 2,000 acres in size on Sunday, prompting authorities to order over 2,900 homes to evacuate immediately.

The fire, which is threatening tens of thousands of Clark County residents, began on October 9 in the Larch Block of the Yacolt Burn State Forest. The blaze was recorded at 156 acres on October 12 but has exploded in size since. 

The wind-fueled wildfire was only 5% contained on Sunday night, according to Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency. The public safety agency said in a statement that the fire is burning on “extremely steep” ground.

The Nakia Creek Fire began on October 9 in the Larch Block of the Yacolt Burn State Forest.

The Nakia Creek Fire began on October 9 in the Larch Block of the Yacolt Burn State Forest.
(Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency)

“Firefighters are preparing direct control lines along the flanks of the fire,” Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency wrote in a statement. “Fire behavior has been smoldering and creeping with some torching observed and short-range spotting. The potential for fire growth remains and containment lines are being put in place.”

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“Please understand that this is a very dynamic situation and if you are anywhere near this area, you should take precautions to evacuate,” the agency urged residents on Sunday.

The Nakia Creek Fire is only 5% contained and currently burning on "extremely steep ground" as firefighters attempt to contain it entirely.

The Nakia Creek Fire is only 5% contained and currently burning on “extremely steep ground” as firefighters attempt to contain it entirely.
(@waDNR_fire via Twitter)

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office announced on Twitter that nearly 3,000 homes are under the Level 3 “go now” order, while 5,017 are under the Level 2 “be set” order. 28,765 homes are under the Level 1 notice and urged to “be ready.”

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Officials say the 2,000-acre figure is a rough estimate because the amount of smoke makes it difficult to precisely measure the wildfire.

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The Clark County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that officials are attempting to update the fire area map overnight, but new information will likely not be available until Monday morning.

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