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Wildfire Shuts Down Highway in South Central Washington

Fire crews continue to battle a number of wildfires throughout the region. In South Central Washington, a wildfire has closed part of Highway 97. Authorities there issued evacuation orders for about 30 homes.  The Mile Marker 28 Fire is Northeast of Goldendale.  So far, it’s burned more than 1,600 acres mostly on lands owned by the Yakama Nation. 

Carol Connolly is fire information officer with the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. 

She says the evacuations were made out of an abundance of caution.  No structures have been lost. But authorities worry the fire could cut off evacuation routes for residents.

As for the highway closure, Connolly says authorities don’t know when that might reopen.

“They’re trying to figure out a way if they can maybe use a pilot car and maybe do intermittent closures to try to get that opened up for through traffic.  The issue is that there’s rolling debris coming off the cliffs and rolling on to the highway,” said Connolly.

In Central Oregon, fire crews continue to work the Sunnyside Turnoff Fire.  It’s burned more than 47,000 acres near Warm Springs.   Meanwhile, outside of La Pine, fire managers expect to have the Stagecoach Fire fully contained by tomorrow.  

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