’Unprecedented And Heart-Breaking’: High Winds Stoke Pacific Northwest Wildfires

 Wednesday, September 9, 2020


Wildfires fanned by high winds burned hundreds of thousands of acres in the Northwest, mostly destroying a small town in eastern Washington state and causing evacuations, power outages and highway closures in Oregon.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday more than 330,000 acres (133,546 hectares) burned in Washington in a 24-hour period - more than burns in most entire fire seasons.

"It’s an unprecedented and heart-breaking event,’’ Inslee said at a news conference, blaming heat, high winds and low humidity for the explosive growth of fires. "The list of fires is long.’’

Washington Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said thousands of people were impacted by the fires, but there appeared to be no deaths or injuries.

"As of this morning, we have 9 large fires,’’ Franz tweeted. "We had 58 new wildfire starts in the last 24 hours.’’