A small town in Washington state was temporarily evacuated on Thursday after a rapidly progressing wildfire destroyed at least six homes, authorities said.
The Adams County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook Thursday that residents of Lind, Wash., had to evacuate due to the ongoing threat of the flames.
The Lind fire destroyed six homes and eight other buildings and burned approximately 2,500 acres, Adams County Sheriff’s Dale J. Wagner said in a video update on Facebook.
Lind is a rural town of approximately 500 residents in Adams County, in the heart of the state’s wheat farming community.
Photos of the fire circulating on social media showed plumes of smoke rising over the town, about 72 miles southwest of Spokane. It was not immediately clear what caused the fire or how many people were temporarily displaced from their homes.
Roads were closed as state volunteer firefighters and locals worked to contain the fire, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office said. Two planes and a helicopter were deployed as part of the containment effort, authorities said.
A firefighter was flown to Spokane to be treated for smoke inhalation, according to Sheriff Wagner, who noted that windy conditions could have been “a major factor in the fire.”
The fire was brought under control on Thursday evening and the evacuation order was lifted.
“The fire service will work through the night to make sure the fire does not flare up again,” the sheriff’s office said.
The American Red Cross said it had opened an emergency evacuation center at an elementary school to help people displaced by the fire.
Wildfires are increasing in size and intensity in the western United States, and wildfire seasons are getting longer. Recent research has suggested that heat and drought associated with climate change are major reasons for the increase in larger and stronger fires.