Wildfire near Spokane prompts mandatory evacuations

August 27, 2022 GMT

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A fast-moving wildfire prompted mandatory evacuations near Spokane, Washington, on Friday afternoon.

The wildfire started just west of downtown Spokane before 4:30 p.m. Friday near Palisades Park with people in the area told to leave their homes immediately, KXLY reported. Firefighters from multiple agencies were battling the blaze and helicopters were dropping water on it.

The fire had burned about a half square mile by Friday evening, officials said.

Those living around the park were urged to evacuate immediately. Mandatory evacuations were put in place later Friday evening for those living in areas closer to the Spokane River, according to posts on Facebook by Spokane County Emergency Management.

A Red Cross shelter at the West Central Community Center opened around 8 p.m., officials said.

In Central Washington, the Medicine Valley Road Fire on the Yakama Indian Reservation started Friday afternoon and pushed by the wind burned about 1.5 square miles (3.9 square kilometers), the Yakima County Fire District #5 said on Facebook.

Some residents were evacuated while others — including residents of White Swan — were told to be set to go. At about 7:30 p.m. officials said all evacuations were lifted and the fire had been contained.