UPDATE: 20 Homes Destroyed In White Swan Fire - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UPDATE: 20 Homes Destroyed In White Swan Fire

WHITE SWAN, Wash. – Firefighters from several Yakima Valley departments have contained a roof fire that spread to the ground Saturday destroying several buildings and burning for hours.

Voluntary evacuations were in effect for the surrounding area and a shelter was created at the Harrah School.

Crews were monitoring four divisions that included a log pile and a haystack. Firefighters from Yakima County Fire District #5 along with all Lower Valley departments and many from the Upper Valley. In all, 60 to 80 firefighters made up the response with 30 units on scene.

George Spencer is the public information officer for the unified command and fire chief for District #4. He says the weather was key in creating such a large fire.

"The wind was the driving force behind the entire incident," he said. "This would have been a very small incident had it not been for the wind conditions today."

Two firefighters were treated and released for minor injuries. They were taken off the fire line and sent home. No one else has been injured from the fire.

Spencer says crews will stay on scene overnight and expect a drop in the response once winds die down. The National Weather Service expects a weather change between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., he said.

Anyone wanting for information on the evacuations should call Yakama Nation Police.

This article courtesy of KNDU

Previous Coverage:

WHITE SWAN, Wash. - A fire aided by dry grass and high winds led to voluntary evacuations for a part of the town of White Swan in the Yakama Indian Reservation.

A house fire east of town destroyed at least five homes on Saturday as firefighters fought to contain the blaze, KIMA-TV reports. No injuries were reported. Yakama Nation log decks are also on fire. The town's ceremonial long house and high school are serving as evacuation shelters.

Fire districts in the upper and lower Yakima Valley have responded to the fire, which was about 25 percent contained late Saturday afternoon. Sgt. George Town of the Yakima County Sheriff's Office says high winds are pushing the fire closer to town, but did not know whether mandatory evacuations would be called for.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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