A wildfire fed by gusty winds and low humidity northeast of Camas, Washington, grew rapidly on Sunday, prompting authorities to order thousands of evacuation orders. The blaze sent up a plume of white smoke visible throughout the Portland/Vancouver metro area.
Dubbed the Nakia Creek Fire, the blaze in eastern Clark County was burning in rugged terrain of brush and timber and had charred an estimated 2,000 acres by Sunday evening, said Ryan Rodruck, a spokesman for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.
Residents of an estimated 2,900 homes were under Level 3 “Go Now” evacuation orders. Another 30,000 residents were under Level 1 and 2 evacuation orders.
The Clark Emergency Services Agency expanded evacuation zones into the rural outskirts of the cities of Camas and Washougal, The Columbian reported.
“Please understand that this is a very dynamic situation and if you are anywhere near this area, you should take precautions to evacuate,” the emergency services agency said in a statement.
The Washougal and Mt. Pleasant districts closed for Monday, so people impacted by the Nakia Creek Fire could prioritize their safety and prepare to evacuate.
The state issued a mobilization order allowing any firefighting agency to dispatch resources to the blaze, Rodruck said.
Crews had secured a portion of the fire burning in the Larch Block of the Yacolt Burn State Forest.
On Sunday the National Weather Service had posted a red flag warning for wind and low humidity in the region, including the south Washington Cascades.
A shelter for evacuees was opened at a church in Camas.
About 100 personnel, supported by water-dropping helicopters, were battling the fire, which began Oct. 9.
Here is last update from @CRESA. @waDNR_fire has stated they ordered a Type 1 Incident Management Team. Nothing further from CCSO tonight. We will be at the brief with incident command in the morning at 7am and start updates then. #NakiaCreekFire https://t.co/Pz0LVjCgJs
— Clark Co Wa. Sheriff (@ClarkCoSheriff) October 17, 2022