Highway 243 Fire causes first evacuations of the 2019 fire season

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ROYAL CITY - Summer hasn’t yet arrived in the Columbia Basin, but fire season has.

A 3000 acres is burning east of Beverly along Highway 243 and growing. It started just before 9 p.m. Monday and is threatening homes, crops, and infrastructure, according to fire officials. The blaze, dubbed the Highway 243 Fire, is burning in mixed grass and sage.

Level 2 (get set) evacuations are in effect for Beverly, Schawana, Wanapum Village and a level 3 evacuation notice is in effect for Smyrna and Beverly Burke Road between SR26 and SR243 at this time. Level 2 evacuations indicate there is a significant risk to life and property. Level 3 evacuation notices indicate that residents are to leave immediately.

State fire assistance has been mobilized under the Washington State Fire Services Resource

Mobilization Plan in support of local firefighters working to contain the Highway 243 Fire located in Grant County near Royal City, according to a press release. Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources on June 4, 2019, at 12:45 am at the request of Fire Chief Eric Linn, Grant County Fire District 10.

Mobilization specialists from the Fire Protection Bureau have ordered three strike teams and air resources. The fire will be managed by a Type 3 Incident Management Team.

The State Emergency Operations Center at Camp Murray is activated to Level 2 to coordinate state assistance for the Highway 243 Fire. State Fire Marshal’s Office personnel are en route to the scene to coordinate dispatch of resources.

Under the State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan, the Fire Protection Bureau coordinates the initial dispatch and continued administrative oversight of resources and personnel for the duration of the mobilization.

The Mobilization Plan is implemented to provide a process to quickly notify, assemble and deploy fire service personnel, equipment and other

resources from around the state when fires, disasters or other events exceed the capacity of local jurisdictions.

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