Nuns help fight Goldendale, WA wildfire; 19 structures burned


by Associated Press & staff

Posted on September 8, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 4 at 6:49 PM

GOLDENDALE, Wash. -- Department of Natural Resources officials say nine homes and 10 outbuildings have burned by a wildfire burning near Satus Pass in south central Washington.

Interagency management team spokesman Dale Warriner says there are no reports of injuries.

The state Department of Natural Resources says 300 people have been evacuated as the blaze burning along Highway 97 has charred more than 2,000 acres.

The fire started Wednesday off of Highway 97 between Goldendale and Toppenish. Mandatory evacuation began overnight for dozens of homes as the blaze grew.

The state took over management of the fire Thursday and ordered 65 engines and water tenders to the scene. Fire managers are operating from the county fairgrounds in Goldendale, where an evcuation center has also been set up.

Slideshow:  Monastery Complex Fire

A group of nuns from St. Johns Greek Monastery, located about 10 miles outside Goldendale, have been doing their best to protect their home and place of worship.

The women were seen in their full habits, hauling garden hoses and water buckets across Highway 97 to help put out the fire.

At least 200 firefighters were working on putting out the blaze. Weather conditions make it difficult with another hot windy day in the forecast.

Brooks Memorial State Park is closed and traffic is disrupted on Highway 97 between Toppenish and Goldendale.
Another wildfire in Washington has burned about 400 acres in a remote part of the Brothers Wilderness on the Olympic Peninsula.