New Washington state fires all likely human-caused

Wildfires

Malden destroyed by fire that consumed 300,000 acres

Charred land and rubble remain after a wildfire in the small town of Malden, Wash., Monday, Sept. 7, 2020, destroying an estimated 70% of homes in the northern Whitman County community, The Spokesman-Review reports. (Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review via AP)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Washington fire officials say all of the fires started across the state Monday are likely human-caused.

Fires burned nearly 300,000 acres just Monday in Washington. Forecasters expect winds of 75 miles per hour to turn small fires into huge ones.

The small town of Malden in eastern Washington is mostly destroyed.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee held a press conference on Tuesday to address the wildfires. He said officials told him Malden “looked like a bomb had gone off.” He commended the efforts of the firefighters to mitigate loss of life. He said he is planning on visiting the town on Thursday.

Representatives from the Washington Department of Natural Resources, the Washington State Patrol and the state Emergency Management Division also spoke at the press conference.

“Currently the state is using ground and aviation efforts to fight the fires,” Inslee said. He said crews that had been sent to help other states have now returned home. He also said no reports of deaths or injuries have been made.

Because there was no lightening, the state believes all of the fires started on Monday in Washington were human caused.

This forecasted fire weather is extremely rare and occurs only a few times a century.

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