State of Emergency declared for Nakia Creek Fire

Nakia Creek Fire explodes amid powerful winds, forcing thousands of evacuations in Washington State

Author: Danielle Stoker

Published: 10:14 PM EDT October 26, 2017

A large fire burns near Nakia Creek in the rain on Thursday Oct. 19, 2017 in Oak Harbor, Washington, as National Weather Service officials warn more than 300,000 people in Washington and Oregon near the coast to be prepared for possible high winds that could affect the storm water discharge from sewage plants and water wells. (Kale Williams/The Washington Post)

The Nakia Creek Fire, the subject of at least four high-profile evacuations in Washington state, has exploded in a blaze that has forced a statewide evacuation and prompted thousands of residents in the path of the fire to flee to higher ground.

Officials said Monday afternoon that the fire was contained and had been under control for most of the day, but it had prompted more than 300,000 residents to flee their homes amid high winds and gusty rains.

The fire is threatening more than 40,000 square miles in Washington, and more than 800 structures are known to be in areas impacted by the blaze. In addition, power in parts of the northern portion of the state had been lost, and officials said a portion of the state’s 911 network was down.

Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat who is running for U.S. Senate, was briefed on the fire Monday afternoon and declared a state of emergency. The Washington National Guard has been called in to help fight the flames, and state officials have said they are concerned about the possible spread of smoke from the fire into surrounding areas.

“It is a very serious situation and we are watching it very carefully,” said Doug O’Malley, a spokesman for the Washington National Guard. “It’s going to be a concern until the flames are contained.”

The main wildfire, which ignited at around 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 19, is located in areas covered by the Nakia

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