With the evacuations zones lifted, Clark County sheriff’s Commander KC Kasberg said there were still no homes damaged by the fires.
“I know they’ve been itching to do that for quite a while, but we didn’t want to do it prematurely either, because this is an unprecedented situation in our county,” Kasberg said of removing evacuation warnings. “And so we wanted to make sure it was definitely the right time to get people back to their houses.”
Officials reduced evacuation zones Wednesday afternoon and eliminated the Level 1 “Get Ready” warning. People can find an evacuation map at tinyurl.com/NakiaCreekEvacs.
Kasberg said deputies who have been patrolling the closed areas will turn over enforcement to a private security firm hired by the incident management team.
Roads near the fire remain closed, including the L-1,000, L-1,400, L-1,500 and L-1,600 roads.
Washington State Forester George Geissler said that although this wildfire season hasn’t broken records in terms of the number of ares burned, the lack of rain this summer has meant the fires that have burned across the state have been burning more intensely than usual.
Geissler also warns that although rain is in the forecast, this summer’s drought will keep fire danger high until there is sustained rainfall.
“We’re asking people to please still be cautious,” he said. “Don’t just look at the calendar and say, ‘Oh, fire season’s over,’ look at the conditions around you and pay attention to what you’re doing.”
Incident Commander Matt Howard said crews are doing their best to contain the fire as quickly as possible to reduce the smoke and improve air quality.