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Tuesday, June 6, 2023
June 6, 2023

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Nakia Creek Fire grows to 150 acres near Larch Mountain in Clark County

By , Columbian staff reporter
4 Photos
The Nakia Creek Fire in east Clark County grew to 150 acres on Monday morning, according to Washington DNR.
The Nakia Creek Fire in east Clark County grew to 150 acres on Monday morning, according to Washington DNR. (Washington Department of Natural Resources) Photo Gallery

The Nakia Creek Fire burning near Larch Mountain grew to an estimated 150 acres Monday, according to an aerial survey done by the Washington Department of Natural Resources.

The fire was reported at about 4 p.m. Sunday burning in grass and brush near the Clark-Skamania county line. Smoke could be seen from all over Clark County and Southwest Washington. The fire is under investigation.

Crews made good progress Monday on establishing lines around the fire, despite winds driving extreme fire, according to Janet Pearce, a spokeswoman with the Department of Natural Resources. Steep, rocky terrain made it difficult for ground crews to gain access to some areas, so officials used multiple air units to battle the fire, she said.

Authorities couldn’t bring in air units Sunday because it was beginning to get dark by the time crews responded, Pearce said. The area where the fire is burning is popular for off-roading, with several ORV trailheads and trails in the vicinity.

No evacuation orders had been issued for the fire near Jones Creek, near the L-1510 Road.

All access between the L-1600 Road at the Jones Creek ORV Trailhead and the L-1500 Road at Four Corners is closed. That includes all motorized trails in the Jones Creek and Hagen Creek systems, as well as the Larch Mountain Trailhead, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Authorities have asked people to avoid the area; Pearce said crews are having problems with people crowding the roads and going past closure signs.

The Department of Natural Resources is currently responding to six large fires across the state, according to the agency’s fire dashboard.

Air quality in Clark County was in the “moderate” category Monday afternoon due to wildfire smoke.

When air is smoky, even healthy people can have symptoms, according to Clark County Public Health. Symptoms can range from minor irritation to life-threatening complications, including sore throat, headache, burning eyes, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest pain.

Find the latest air quality information on the Washington State Department of Ecology’s website at https://bit.ly/3ynWRks.