400-acre Thurston County wildfire contained; 4 homes, 1 business, 2 barns lost

ROCHESTER, Wash. -- A large, fast-moving wildfire near Rochester on Tuesday destroyed one business, four homes and two barns and forced the evacuation of 50 to 100 homes,  authorities said.

The Scatter Creek Fire also created a miles-long traffic backup on I-5 just north of U.S. 12 on Tuesday afternoon.

Thurston County announced shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday that the fire was contained and the evacuations had been lifted. The county also said the fire had burned 400 acres and that 1,000 people were without power Tuesday night.

The State Fire Marshal's Office earlier in the day said, "The fire started on August 22, 2017, at approximately 1:33 pm, and the cause is under investigation.  The Scatter Creek Fire is estimated at 350 acres and growing.  The fire is threatening homes, crops, and commercial structures in the area.  Level 3 evacuations are currently in effect for approximately 100 homes."

The office said the fire was burning in grass, brush and timber.

Thurston County said in a news release Tuesday night that "fire lines are currently holding while ... fire crews are responding with ground crews and air drops."

"One business at 183rd Street and Loganberry Street has burned and six additional structures have been lost," the news release said. "The structures include four primary residences and two barns."

Capt. Lanette Dyer of  West Thurston Fire Authority said a landscaping business, Jags Topsoil in Rochester, was a complete loss. Numerous “pieces of property” have been lost to residents. She said some “historical sites" also have been damaged. No injuries have been reported, she added.

Those under orders to evacuate were told a shelter was being set up at the Rochester LDS Church at 18501 Paulson Street SW in Rochester.

The Washington Department of Natural Resources said three helicopters and seven fire engines were helping fight the fire near Scatter Creek and 183rd.  Centralia Fire and Pierce County Fire was sending crews to help fight the blaze.

Centralia Fire said it was sending two water tenders to help Thurston Fire with the blaze.