LINCOLN COUNTY, Wash — The Whitney Fire burning near Davenport has grown to 123,000 acres as of Sunday morning and is 45% contained, according to incident commanders.
Evacuations levels south of Highway 2 were reduced from Level 3 to Level 2 on Sunday. Level 3 evacuations remain in place north of Highway 2 where crews are working to extinguish hot spots. The remaining areas surrounding the fire remain under Level 1 evacuations. A Temporary Flight Restriction remains in place.
The fire is located in Lincoln County between Davenport and Creston to the north and Harrington and Odessa to the south. It could be contained by Friday, Sept. 18, officials said.
The Washington National Guard is sending three crews, or approximately 50 personnel, to Davenport to help with the fire by request of the Washington Department of Natural Resources, according to spokesperson Tara Lee. The crews are expected to arrive Saturday.
State Route 2 runs through the northern part of the fire but the road is open.
Homes, crops and infrastructure are threatened by the fire that sparked when a tree fell on power lines on Monday, Sept. 7. At least four homes have been destroyed by the fire and an unknown number of outbuildings have burned down, incident command leaders said.
Some ranchers have also lost livestock to the fire.
In Davenport, Hawk Creek Road, Cottonwood Creek, Gunning, South Telford, Whitaker Lake, and Seven Springs Dairy roads are closed. Rocklyn Road is open but has a 35 mph speed limit.
In Odessa, Zaglow, Schmierer, Highline, Govan Road from Kuchenbuch and Rimrock, and Coffee Pot roads from Duck Lake to Eagle Springs are closed.
In Wilbur, Swanson LAke from Watson-Grant, Schuster from Belnz to Sawnson, School House to Swanson, and North Telford roads are closed.
Areas in evacuation levels are being notified by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department.
A campground for evacuees has been set up at the Lincoln County fairgrounds.
KREM 2's Casey Decker spoke with one of the families who arrived there Tuesday. They had to caravan their vehicles and their trailer off their property after it became threatened by the fire. They said the first night they stayed in a Safeway parking lot because they didn't know the campground had been set up.
Samantha McLaughlin said since the trailer is her home the evacuation was easy but there's still a lot of unknowns.
"The scariest part was probably just having to imagine what would happen if our property was gone," she said. "And my stepdad spent 10 years perfecting the property. It's got solar panels, huge propane tanks. So it's just going to be really heartbreaking if we lost everything."
McLaughlin said right now she believes their property should be OK if conditions stay the same. Some of her other family members are going around to double check.