Gray and Oregon Road fires were among the most destructive in Washington history

  • Source: The Columbian - Metered Site
  • Published: 11/20/2023 01:18 AM

Washington has had its fair share of natural disasters. The Yacolt Burn of 1902 swept across 239,000 acres in the state’s southwestern corner and killed more than three dozen people, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The Oso Landslide, the deadliest in U.S. history, killed 43 people a decade ago north of Seattle. Nearly 60 people died in the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, an event that remains etched in the minds of most Americans older than 50. These are among the deadliest events Washington has ever seen, but none of them destroyed as many homes as the Gray and Oregon Road fires, which raged through Spokane County this summer. The fires began within hours of each other on Aug. 18. The Gray Fire burned more than 10,000 acres on the West Plains, and the Oregon Road Fire burned more than 11,000 acres near Elk, northwest of Mount Spokane.


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