Washington Fire Prompts Evacuation; Minimal Treefruit Damage Anticipated
- by Melissa De Leon Chavez
SPOKANE, WA - The West Coast’s long winter has not staved off fire season. While I’m sad to report that residents in Central Washington have been ordered to evacuate due to a fire that flared up earlier this week, it looks as though treefruit might be safe for now. But, as we know with wildfires, they can change course with only a moment’s notice and, as of now, are still a threat to the area's orchards.
“This isn’t at our home base in Wenatchee, but near places where the industry has orchards. Orchards typically escape forest and brush fires without too much harm as growers can turn water on if threatened, and the land is well-watered to begin with,” Brianna Shales, Stemilt’s Communications Manager, shared with me.
Called the 243 Fire, it began burning north of Beverly on the East side of the Columbia River. Fueled by strong winds, the blaze grew quickly to more than 1,000 acres early Tuesday morning, then spread to another 4,000 acres by early afternoon, according to The Spokesman-Review. The fire had reportedly burned 5,000 acres as of Wednesday morning.
AndNowUKnow will continue to monitor the situation and hope that fresh produce remains clear.