When there are Level 3 evacuations, you leave everything, grab the kids and pets, and go! Level 3 means you are in immediate danger.

Those were the dire warnings issued at 9am Tuesday for Smyrna, which is a small hamlet about four miles south of Royal City in Grant County.

The Sheriff's Department issued mandatory evacuations as the "243 Fire" -- as it's being called -- has consumed at least 5,000 acres and is not under control. Areas near Highway 26 and 243 near Schwana, Beverly and Wanapum Village are under either Level 1 or 2 evacuation orders.

Six fire agencies are involved and breezy windy conditions are not helping. The sweeping fire is consuming the sagebrush and grass. Authorities have no idea when containment might be achieved. No word yet as to how the fire started.


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