VIDEO: Things were looking up Thursday for crews battling the 243 Command Fire in Grant County, Washington.
The blaze, which had torched an estimated 18,774 acres, was 50% contained as of 9 a.m. Just one evacuation notice remained in place for the town of Smyrna, located about 160 miles southeast of Seattle, but it had downgraded to a level 2 evacuation, meaning residents should be prepared to leave at any moment but were not required to leave immediately.
"Firefighters have made tremendous progress and the risk to the public is much, much lower," Grant County Sheriff's Office officials said in a tweet.
About 350 people were working to fight the fire, which has destroyed outbuildings. No residences had been damaged.
Wednesday proved to be a tricky day for crews. A strong wind tested the fire, officials said in a news release posted to Facebook, but the fire "did not get the upper hand."