Wildfires prompt Inslee to declare state of emergency in 20 Eastern Washington counties

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in 20 Eastern Washington counties Tuesday morning as several wildfires threaten buildings and residents near Spokane and elsewhere.

“This proclamation frees up state resources so we can provide the assistance that these communities might need,” Inslee said in a statement. “This is a time for all Washingtonians to come together.”

Six new wildfires started over the weekend, adding to at least five more that were already underway. The state says the fires have burned more than 25 structures and are threatening hundreds more.

Hot, windy conditions are in the forecast for at least the next week in Eastern Washington.

There are multiple bans on outdoor fires in effect in Eastern Washington.

Inslee’s declaration encompasses Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Yakima, Walla Walla and Whitman counties.