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News / Clark County News

Larch prisoners remain offsite due to Nakia Creek Fire

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Local News Editor
Published: October 18, 2022, 1:07pm

Incarcerated individuals at Larch Corrections Center are settling into temporary housing after being evacuated Sunday from the minimum security facility, near Yacolt, due to the growing Nakia Creek Fire.

Max, who spoke with The Columbian on Monday, said her friend, who’s housed at Larch, was able to call her and his mom later that day.

“He was in much better spirits. I felt, honestly, way relieved,” said Max, who wished to only be identified by her first name.

Her friend reportedly told her that corrections workers transported everyone on school buses to another minimum security facility in Southwest Washington. The convoy was accompanied by dozens of state vehicles and marshals, the friend said.

Nakia Creek Fire

Tents begin to fill a field across from Grove Field in Camas for firefighters battling the Nakia Creek Fire. The camp will include meal areas, showers and everything crews need to rest up before heading back to the fire.Nakia Creek Fire grows overnight, no change to evacuation zones
The Nakia Creek Fire grew to 1,796 acres overnight, but officials said Tuesday the growth is normal as they establish new lines around the blaze.
The Interstate 5 Bridge stretches across a hazy Columbia River on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2022, as seen from the Vancouver Waterfront. Smoke from the Nakia Creek Fire and a morning layer of fog pushed air quality into the “unhealthy” range.East Clark County air quality pushed into unhealthy range
Air quality significantly degraded overnight, pushing into the unhealthy range across parts of Southwest Washington and Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington and Columbia counties in Oregon. Smoke…
The Clark County Fire Marshal's Office is asking for the public's help identifying the vehicle pictured as a part of the investigation into the cause of the Nakia Creek Fire. The agency said the image was captured at around 3:30 p.m. Oct. 9 on a ridge near Larch Mountain.Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office seeks vehicle, people of interest in wildfire investigation
The Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office is asking for the public’s help identifying a vehicle and the people associated with it as a part of…
(The Columbian files)Larch prisoners remain offsite due to Nakia Creek Fire
Incarcerated individuals at Larch Corrections Center are settling into temporary housing after being evacuated Sunday from the minimum security facility, near Yacolt, due to the…

While the Washington Department of Corrections is restricting information to the general public about where Larch inmates are being housed, the agency is sharing that information with families, said Rachel Ericson, deputy communications director. Ericson said corrections has also been sharing all information relayed to incarcerated individuals with their families.

About 230 prisoners were housed at Larch in September. The number of evacuees was not disclosed.

Ericson encouraged family members who are not getting that information to sign up to receive emails by reaching out to Larch’s Local Family Council.

Max’s friend said after he arrived at the new facility, he was assigned to a bed in a large room with bunks, in fours, separated by cubicle walls, similar to the setup at Larch. Pizza was delivered for dinner, he reportedly told Max.

Max said he was allowed to bring his toothbrush, soap, medications and pillowcase with him. He was told he could put in an order to the commissary for next week’s delivery, but he was hesitant, Max said, because he’s unsure if he will still be there in a week.

The DOC previously said it’s unknown when people will be able to return to Larch; it will be dependent on the fire’s containment.