Fire issues in Washington state continued to increase today, with The Blue Creek Fire near Walla Walla having grown to over 4,000 acres in just 24 hours.
The Blue Creek Fire began just 8 miles east of Walla Walla on Monday at 12:30 pm, the result of human activity that remains under investigation. Roughly 50 homes and 120 residents were evacuated Monday afternoon, and officials say that the fire is now moving towards the Black Snake Subdivision where it threatens another 150 homes. County commissioners have declared a state of emergency, with parts of the area under Level 3 evacuation orders. A shelter has been set up at the Walla Walla fairgrounds in the event that residents need it. One home has been destroyed so far.
On Monday afternoon, a helicopter crashed while fighting the fire. The pilot walked away from the crash without injury, which is currently under investigation but being tentatively attributed to a mechanical failure.
The Blue Creek Fire is burning in steep terrain filled with a combination of brush and timber, making efforts to combat the blaze difficult. 400 firefighters have been assigned to area as of Tuesday evening, where the fire remains 0% contained.