The Big Hollow Fire in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest has increased to more than 18,000 acres, according to a National Forest Service bulletin Sunday.
Heavy smoke slightly dissipated Saturday, allowing for a more accurate count of acreage burned. New surveys showed the fire has grown incrementally over the past three days, during which 6,000 more acres have burned.
The fire, which flared up on Monday, is being worked by 228 fire personnel. The cause is unknown.
The fire, which is 15 miles northwest of Carson, grew mostly on its eastern side. Flames spread down a ridge west of the Wind River Highway near the Trapper Creek Wilderness. Fire crews have prepped 42 evacuated cabins at Government Mineral Springs for protection.
On the fire’s western side, crews are using heavy equipment to construct fire lines near Siouxon Creek.
The fire remains zero percent contained.
Structures in Chalatchie Prairie, Yale and Northwood are being assessed for protection.The communities of Yale and Cougar are under a Level 2 evacuation notice, meaning residents should be prepared to leave at any moment. Portions of Amboy and Yacolt are on a Level 1 notice, meaning residents should make preparations to leave.
The Forest Service has issued closures in the southwest portion of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest that include most developed campgrounds, dispersed camping, trails, and most forest roads and trails within the closure area.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources has issued closures for the Siouxon Block and recreation sites within the Merrill Lake Conservation Area. The Pacific Crest Trail remains open.