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September 01, 2020 10:27am
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Gray Fire: Washington state cities Four Lakes, Medical Lake urged to evacuate amid wildfire

Spokane County officials declared a state of emergency regarding the Gray Fire, with evacuations prompted in Four Lakes and Medical Lake. The fire is 0% contained so far.

Washington state officials declared a state of emergency in Spokane County on Saturday afternoon, as thousands of residents across the state have been evacuating their homes amid destructive wildfires.

At least one person has died due to what's being called the Gray Fire, which broke out Friday afternoon, according to Fox Weather. The blaze escalated from 200 acres in size to 3,000 acres by Friday evening, FOX 13 Seattle reported.

It is burning near Medical Lake, which is located north of Spokane. The fire is 0% contained as of Saturday afternoon and has impacted at least 9,500 acres.

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (WADNR) reported that power is still out in parts of Medical Lake, and at least 185 structures have been destroyed by the blaze.

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"Please honor Level 3 evac, not doing so is hindering response," the WADNR said on X, formerly known as Twitter. Level 3 is known as ‘go now’, while Level 2 means ‘be ready’.

Four Lakes and Medical Lake residents are being urged to evacuate, according to Spokane County Fire District 10. Parts of I-90 are closed, specifically between the Four Lakes Interchange and Salnave Road, FOX 13 reported.

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The WA DNR reported that the weather is "problematic" for firefighting efforts, with dry conditions and hot temperatures hindering efforts to contain the fires. The fire is burning dry grass, timber and wheat.

A Red Cross evacuation site was set up at Spokane Falls Community College, and large animals are being held at the Spokane Fairgrounds.

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