Highway 8 Fire threatens Roosevelt, then advances northward



— A fast-moving fire that threatened about 350 homes in Klickitat County yesterday has now started its march toward the Prosser area.

Reported about 1:07 p.m. yesterday, the Highway 8 Fire had grown to an estimated 10,000 acres along the Columbia River by this morning. A current size estimate was not immediately available.

Level 3 fire evacuation notices — meaning fire is imminent— were issued and at least 300 people were evacuated from Roosevelt late last night, Incident Commander Nathan Rabe said.

Since then, the fire jumped Highway 14 — which runs alongside the Columbia River from Maryhill to Paterson — and is moving toward the north-northeast. Six wildland strike teams, two dozers and one aircraft have been assigned to join the fire fight alongside Klickitat County fire crews.

Rabe said gusty winds are pushing the fast-moving fire, which has destroyed several structures, including barns. It is burning in sage and dry grass.

The towns of Bickleton, Mabton or Prosser could be in harm's way if the fire continues to advance.

The State Department of Transportation has closed Highway 14 between Mileposts 127 and 131 because of fire activity. And only local traffic is allowed between Milepost 102 (at the junction with U.S. Highway 97) and Milepost 167 near Paterson, officials said.



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