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Washington Wildfire Leaves 1 Dead in Path of Devastation

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) issued an emergency proclamation Saturday after a wildfire continued to spread through Spokane County, leaving at least one person dead and destroying more than 185 structures in its wake.

“As these fires rage in Spokane County, we want to thank the first responders who are doing such tremendous work in a coordinated effort. Thank them if you get a chance. We want people to be safe, this is our first priority, is saving lives, and we hope everybody will focus on that,” Inslee said in a video message posted late Saturday. 

“I’ve spoken to the mayors of Medical Lake, Mayor [Terri] Cooper, and Mayor [Chris] Grover of Cheney, Sheriff [John] Nowels. They’ve assured me that the state is providing all the resources that they think could be brought to bear on this, but we’re going to continue to help in every way that we can,” Inslee said. 

Spokane County also declared a state of emergency as of noon Saturday.

As of Sunday morning, the so-called Gray Fire spread over 10,892 acres and was 0 percent contained, according to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources

The Gray Fire closed an interstate highway, I-90, from Sprague to Geiger. 

Washington Department of Natural Resources spokesperson Isabelle Hoygaard said Saturday that the wildfire began shortly after midday Friday on the west side of Medical Lake, about 15 miles west of Spokane, before it expanded, The Associated Press reported.

Evacuation orders have been issued for parts of the county. 

Source : The Hill