Bonney Lake mayor describes evacuating his home amid ongoing fires
With brush fires burning in the Bonney Lake-Sumner area between Monday and Tuesday, several evacuations have been ordered, including the home of Bonney Lake Mayor Neil Johnson.
The fire began shortly after midnight near Myers Road in Bonney Lake, likely due to a blown transformer. Power outages and early morning evacuations quickly followed, with 60 fire personnel on site to battle the blaze.
“I’m on the east part [of Myers Road], and I guess between 64th and 81st Street off Myers Road had to be evacuated; I’m on 74th,” Mayor Johnson described to KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula Show. “So my [fire] chief calls me up. He goes ‘guess what? It’s your turn.’ So I get evacuated [with] my wife and daughter. We packed up our computers and a few things to make sure we’re taken care of.”
Johnson describes the fire as nothing like he’s ever seen in Bonney Lake, with the area previously only having dealt with “mild brush fires on 410 on the hillside.”
“My wife asked me, ‘Have you ever thought you’d ever have to leave our house because of fire danger?'” Johnson said. “I said ‘no, not in Bonney Lake.’ The last place I thought I had to worry about evacuating was my house.”
The fires have had SR 410 between mileposts 29 and 33 completely closed, as responders have continued to try and get the fire under control.
Here’s an updated map of the evacuation area for the Myers Road Fire at Bonney Lake. pic.twitter.com/uzKd4MJmlx
— Pierce County, Wash. (@PierceCo) September 8, 2020
The rest of Washington has dealt with other fires as well, driven by high winds and dry weather. Spurred on by 50 mile-per-hour winds, a fire in Whitman County almost completely burned down the small town of Malden, Wash., with roughly 80% of its standing structures destroyed.
Another fire that began in Okanogan County had evacuations ordered in Mansfield, west of the Grand Coulee Dam. In Graham, crews have been battling a separate fire that destroyed eight homes.
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