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  • Writer's pictureMLWA 7

243 Fire in Southeastern Grant County Growing to More Than 6,000+ Acres

— Beverly WA (Grant County, Central WA)

Crews are continuing to battle the 243 fire in Grant County. Currently, crews from across the state are on scene battling steep terrain and variable winds.

The fire has ran east in the canyon with some extension on the north side but has not crossed Lower Crab Creek. Crews were able to contain it primarily to the canyon. A significant night shift is in place to provide point protection, if the weather allows, they can directly attack the fire.

There are approximately 400 personnels from across the state. Wind, terrain, and a lack of light were all named contributing factors as to why the fire has been so difficult to put out.

Fire crews called for "State Mobilization" for additional resources to help combat the fire. The request was approved almost immediately, with resources arriving early Tuesday morning. The Sheriffs here in Grant County says that the state mobilization means fire fighters and resources from across Washington are on scene. This includes helicopters during the day time, two fire bosses, multiple helicopters, 1 air tanker, and air defenses. No homes have been reported damaged and no one has been hurt. We're told the cause is still unknown and is still being looked into and hasn't been released yet.

The "243Fire" broke out late Monday evening around 9:00 pm pst and is located east from the Beverly WA/SR 26 area, according to Kyle Foreman with Grant County Sheriff's Office.

The Grant County Sheriff's Office says this fire is the first major incident where Public Information Officer Liz Flores needed to send out emergency messages in different languages to warn and help protect residents who are in harm’s way. Fire information is now being handled by the Southeast Washington Incident Management Team.

"Right now, we're focusing resources on a little community calling Smyrna Canyon, where the fire is burning out of control right now. We're trying very hard to get ahead of the fire, " said Grant County Sheriff's Deputy, Kyle Foreman
He continued to say, “This has been a difficult fire to mitigate due to the many natural and commercial resources threatened. Crews have been briefed on the sensitivity and value of the area and are doing their best to minimize damage from fire and mitigation efforts”

Foreman says about 25 homes have been evacuated due to the fire.

Road closures include Beverly Burke Road between SR26 and SR243, and Lower Crab Creek Road from SR243 to SR26. A Red Cross evacuation shelter is open and located at the Royal City Intermediate School and will provide food, water, and shelter for anyone in the evacuation zone.

The Grant County Fairgrounds in Moses Lake is available to provide shelter for livestock and pets. They will have bedding and water available, but no feed. There is a Winco Whole-foods, Safeway, Walmart, Rite Aid, Basin Feed, and Petco in Moses Lake to stock up on food for your pets.

The Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Washington Department of Natural Resources have issued recreational closures on ALL public lands surrounding the fire.

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