SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A fast-moving wildfire prompted the evacuation Friday of residents in and around the eastern Washington community of Medical Lake.
The so-called Gray Fire began around noon and was burning in grass, timber and wheat, according to the state fire marshal’s office, which said the fire was threatening homes, a hospital, a highway and the community of Medical Lake.
Level 3, or “go now,” evacuations were issued for the community of about 4,800 people.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources said Friday evening on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, that the fire had jumped Interstate 90 and caused a stretch of that route to be closed near the community of Four Lakes.
The National Weather Service had warned of “critical fire conditions,” citing dry conditions and the potential for gusty winds that could cause new or existing fires to spread rapidly. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Medical Lake is about 15 miles (24 kilometers) southwest of Spokane.