(WENATCHEE, Wash.) — A fast-moving wildfire in Washington state has left nearly 3,000 acres scorched and forced thousands of residents from their homes.
The grass fire started Sunday on a remote hillside outside of Wenatchee, Washington. Fueled by triple-digit temperatures — Wenatchee had a record high of 109 Sunday — as well as strong winds, the blaze made its way quickly into residential and commercial areas outpacing firefighting teams.
So far, more than 24 homes have been destroyed.
“We’ve got hundreds of homes under evacuation notices,” Rich Magnussen of the Chelan County Emergency Management Office told ABC News affiliate KOMO-TV.
Fire officials overnight declared a Level 3 evacuation, going door-to-door telling residents to leave.
“I thought I’d get there and it’d be like, smoky,” resident Christie Adams said. “Our backyard was on fire.”
In Wenatchee, burning embers from the so-called Sleepy Hollow Fire helped set local downtown businesses ablaze. At one wholesale plant, flames mixed with propane tanks creating dangerous explosions.
Fire officials said the combination of rain on Monday morning with dying winds had helped tame the fires in the hills. The fires in the downtown and residential areas remained active. An industrial fire in downtown Wenatchee continued to shoot thick, black smoke as officials issued an ammonia leak, warning residents to shelter in place.
A red-flag warning remained in effect till 8 p.m. today, though the fires on the hills appeared to be out.
Two firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation and another two, for heat-related issues. One firefighter had to be sent to a hospital.
The cause of the fire was still unknown.
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