Washington Wildfire Update as Lind Blaze Burns 20,000 Acres

Washington state's Lind Fire, burning near the town of Lind in Adams County, was estimated to be at "20,000 acres and growing," according to a statement Sunday from the Washington State Fire Marshal's Office of Washington State Patrol.

The fire marshal's office said the brush fire, which sparked Sunday at around 10:56 a.m. local time, is burning sage, grass and wheat. The cause of the fire is under investigation. No injuries or deaths have been reported so far.

State Route 21 (SR 21) was closed due to the "fast moving brush fire," the official Washington State Patrol District 4 public information officer tweeted Sunday.

But, the Washington State Department of Transportation tweeted late Sunday: "SR 21 near Lind is now fully open. Please watch for emergency vehicles and use caution through the area. All interchanges with US 395 in the area have reopened."

Washington's The Spokesman-Review reported the Washington Department of Natural Resources said the blaze had burned 2,100 acres as of 6:30 p.m. local time Sunday.

The fire marshal's office said level 1, 2 and 3 evacuations are in effect following the fire, which is threatening homes, crops and infrastructure, according to the statement Sunday.

KXLY reported a level 3 evacuation orders residents to leave immediately. Level 2 means they should get ready to leave at a moment's notice, while level 1 means "get ready" to leave.

Air resources for water drops over the blaze have been ordered by the Washington Fire Protection Bureau, according to the statement from the fire marshal's office.

Newsweek has contacted Washington State Patrol and the Washington Department of Natural Resources for comment.

The latest blaze sparked amid a historic heat wave reported in the country's Pacific Northwest region, including several parts of Washington, where excessive heat warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service.

Temperatures in parts of Washington ranged from 98 to 109 degrees Fahrenheit as of 5 p.m. local time Sunday. "All tied or broken records were previously set in 2015," NWS Spokane tweeted late Sunday.

NWS Spokane said widespread temperatures in the 100s will last through July 4 and remain in the 90s through at least Wednesday, July 7.

Above average temperatures are forecast through July 11, according to an eight to 14 day outlook, NWS Spokane tweeted late Sunday.

Excessive heat warnings are in effect across Washington state's northwest, eastern and southeast regions.

The NWS explains an excessive heat warning is issued "within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions.

"The general rule of thumb for this Warning is when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 105 [F] or higher for at least 2 days and night time air temperatures will not drop below 75 degrees.

"However, these criteria vary across the country, especially for areas not used to extreme heat conditions. If you don't take precautions immediately when conditions are extreme, you may become seriously ill or even die," the NWS warns.

Firefighters training with live burn in Washington.
An aerial view of volunteer firefighters practicing with a live burn during a wildfire training course in May in Brewster, Washington. The Lind Fire in Adams County, which sparked Sunday morning, has burned 20,000 acres, according to the Washington State Fire Marshal's Office. David Ryder/Getty Images