At least 80 wildfires in the state of Washington have forced hundreds of people to be evacuated, destroyed numerous buildings, and disrupted utilities in affected areas as of Thursday, September 10. The town of Malden, in the east of the state, was almost completely destroyed, with 80-percent of buildings set alight, including the majority of its civic buildings. The fires have burned more than 300,000 acres (121,000 hectares) over a 24-hour period, an area greater than past years have seen over the course of the entire wildfire season. The fires have reportedly been fueled by strong winds, low humidity, and hot weather.
Further high winds and hot weather are expected over the coming days, with officials emphasizing that there is an extreme danger of further fires. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued an elevated Fire Weather Outlook for areas of southwest Washington for Thursday.
Further spread of the fires is likely in the near term. An emergency response presence and localized transportation disruptions, namely road closures, should be anticipated in the affected areas.
Those in the vicinity of the fires are advised to monitor the situation, avoid the area, anticipate possible transport disruption due to firefighting operations and road closures, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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