MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Gray, Oregon City fires kill 2, lead to lost structures; I-90 reopens after closure

Aug 19, 2023, 11:55 AM | Updated: Aug 21, 2023, 6:48 pm

Image: A picture of the Interstate 90 westbound closure point at Four Lakes/State Route 902 Friday,...

A picture of the Interstate 90 westbound closure point at Four Lakes/State Route 902 Friday, August 18 from the Washington State Department of Transportation's IRT team. (Photo: Washington State Department of Transportation)

(Photo: Washington State Department of Transportation)

The Gray Fire in Spokane County started Friday, spread quickly and led to the evacuation order of thousands of residents and the closure of parts of Interstate 90 (I-90) in both directions.

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, Saturday morning one person was killed in the fire.

It reached nearly 11,000 acres Sunday with 0% containment, the state agency reported on X. It added that the “spread was pretty moderate and mostly to the southwest.”

The agency noted Saturday more than 185 structures had been lost. The Spokesman-Review in Spokane on Sunday called out the devastation in the city of Medical Lake.

Spokane County Sheriff Cpl. Mark Gregory said a body was found inside the area burned by the Oregon Road fire in North Spokane County on Sunday, The Spokesman-Review reported. A cause of death had not been determined.

The DNR reported Sunday the Oregon Road Fire  had grown to over 9,250 acres and it was 0% contained.

The agency also wrote on X that Spokane County declared a state of emergency as of noon Saturday. It asked residents to honor the Level 3 evacuation as “not doing so is hindering response.” A Level 3 evacuation is the highest and means, “Go! Evacuate now! Leave immediately!” according to the website, Washington Smoke Information (WSI).

Later Saturday the agency reported a Level 2 evacuation in Tyler due to fire behavior and visibility making flight unsafe. A Level 2 evacuation, according to WSI, indicates “there is significant danger to your area” and it suggests to “Pack your emergency items.”

‘Wildfire smoke season is here’: Western Washington likely to be affected

Thousands of people remain evacuated.

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) reported on X Monday afternoon I-90 in both directions fully reopened after portions of of the highway were closed for multiple days.

Recent Western Washington blaze: Evacuation orders lifted in Lakewood after Fort Steilacoom Park fire

The cause of the Gray Fire is currently under investigation.

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Gray, Oregon City fires kill 2, lead to lost structures; I-90 reopens after closure