From the fire line, firefighters battle the Mile Marker 28 fire. Photo courtesy: The Morrell family
Photo: Air 12
Photo: Washington State Department of Transportation
Photo: Washington State Patrol
GOLDENDALE, WA (KPTV) -
A wildfire burning near the Washington town of Goldendale grew to more than 20,000 acres over the weekend.
The Mile Marker 28 fire, which is burning in grasslands, shrub, brush and timber, started Wednesday morning along Highway 97, about 15 miles north of Goldendale.
The fire started small and quickly grew in size. By Sunday afternoon, a level 2 evacuation order was issued for homes north of Box Springs Road, within Township 6N, Range 19E and Sections 17 -20 and 29-30.
The Klickitat County Sheriff's Office was warning residents in those areas to be prepared to evacuate if a level 3 evacuation order was issued.
"This is the time to pack your valuables, family heirlooms, clothing and make the necessary preparations for your animals and to seek out viable lodging arrangements," a notice from officials said.
About 150 people from Bickleton and the surrounding area attended a community meeting Sunday to get an update on the fire.
More than 1,000 people are involved in fighting the fire and seven helicopters are being used.
Firefighters spent Sunday continuing to reinforce and extend containment lines eastward along the north and south flanks of the fire. They now have the fire 25 percent contained.
The American Red Cross set up a shelter at Our Fathers House Fellowship in Goldendale, WA, for evacuees.
The cause of the fire was still under investigation.
Due to the fire, Highway 97 was closed from Toppenish to Goldendale.
The Washington State Department of Transportation was also working on removing large danger-trees that burned from the fire. It was also working on removing debris along the way and repairing damaged guardrails burned by the fire.
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