Wenatchee Sleepy Hollow fire drives hundreds from homes

More than a dozen structures have been destroyed in the east-central Washington fire, but no serious injuries have been reported.

David Ryder/Reuters
A US flag is seen as a commercial building burns after being ignited by the Sleepy Hollow fire in Wenatchee, Wash., Monday. Emergency officials ordered hundreds of people to leave their homes in central Washington state as a fast-moving wildfire destroyed at least nine properties and threatened businesses on Sunday. Many took refuge in shelters as the blaze ripped across 1,700 acres near the cities of Cashmere and Wenatchee in Chelan County, about 120 miles (200km) east of Seattle.
Rich Clabaugh/Staff

More than a thousand people have evacuated their homes in Wenatchee, Wash. due to a wildfire that sparked Sunday afternoon and was still blazing 12 hours later, authorities said early Monday.

Hundreds of homes are under evacuation notice, and at least a dozen structures, mostly houses, have been destroyed so far, according to Chelan County Emergency Management office spokesman Rich Magnussen.

"It's probably going to turn out to be more than that," he said.

There have been no reports of serious injury so far in what has been dubbed “the Sleepy Hollow fire.”

Several hundred firefighters have been sent to the scene. As of Sunday night, reports said the fire had burned through 2.6 square miles of territory.

Though officials are still working to determine what started the fire, Mr. Magnussen said Sunday’s 108-degree weather, tinder dry brush, and strong winds all came together to play a role.

"The wind really picked up in the afternoon," he said.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Darren Wright said the fire grew overnight in size and destruction.

“We know the fire has grown overnight and we lost several more structures,” Mr. Wright said Monday.

The Weather Channel reported that the Northwest is experiencing a record-setting heat wave that is likely to persist into July. Combined with sustained drought in the region, The Weather Channel warned of high fire danger.

California also experienced several wildfires over the weekend. Firefighters contained one in Southern California with the help of damp weather, only after the fire had burned for more than a week and destroyed 48 square miles of desert brush in the San Bernardino National Forest.

Smaller fires broke out in Northern California, but were easily extinguished, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

This report includes material from the Associated Press.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.