Not much was left of Malden’s fire station, post office, city hall, library and its homes as the Labor Day firestorm destroyed most of the small farming town. Majority of the residents have already been evacuated and access after the fire has been prohibited due to a leaking propane gas. Officials reported that high winds of up to 45 mph, in addition to dry field, fueled the fire. New fire starts are being reported in every corner of the State. No injuries from the wildfire were reported as of early Tuesday.
NPR.Org: Within hours, most of the small town had burned to the ground
According to the Whitman County Sheriff’s Office, 80% of the town’s structures were destroyed. The town of about 200 people is 35 miles south of Spokane in an agricultural region known as the Palouse, NPR.Org reports.
Officials said the fire was fueled by high winds of up to 45 mph, standing timber and dry fields. Deputies went door to door and used public-address systems on their patrol vehicles to tell residents to evacuate the area immediately. Within hours, most of the small town had burned to the ground.
NPG.Org further accounts that most of Washington remains under red flag warnings because of the high risk of wildfires. The National Weather Service has declared part of the state and parts of western Oregon as “extremely critical” fire areas.