Inmates at the Larch Corrections Center were evacuated Sunday and are being temporarily housed at other Department of Correction facilities in Washington.

YACOLT, Wash. — People incarcerated at the Larch Corrections Center in Clark County were evacuated as the Nakia Creek Fire burning nearby expanded in size Sunday afternoon.

The fire broke containment lines on Sunday and prompted officials to quickly issue new Level 3 (Go Now) evacuation notices to thousands of homes. 

The Larch Corrections Center is about five miles from where the fire is burning near Camas, Washington. The Washington State Department of Corrections said incarcerated people from the center were safely evacuated to temporary housing at other facilities and asked for patience from those trying to contact them as they got settled. The Larch Corrections Center has a capacity of 240 male inmates, but it is unclear how many were currently housed at the facility at the time of the evacuation. 

The new evacuation notices in place as of Monday morning are:

  • Anyone within 3.5 miles of the fire is now in a Level 3 (Go Now) order and should evacuate to the south toward Washougal River Road into Washougal.
  • Anyone within 4.5 miles of the fire are now in a Level 2 (Be Set) order.
  • Anyone within 5.5 miles of the fire are now in a Level 1 (Be Ready) order.

RELATED: Level 3 (Go Now) evacuation zone increases for Nakia Creek Fire burning near Larch Mountain in SW Washington

In total, about 2,903 homes are under Level 3 (Go Now) evacuation orders, according to Clark Regional Emergency Services (CRESA). CRESA said late Monday morning evacuation zones were decreasing and they would release more information shortly. 

The Washougal School District canceled all classes on Monday to help those forced to evacuate do so safely. Two schools in the Washougal School District – Cape Horn-Skye Elementary and Canyon Creek Middle School – are in mandatory evacuation zones. Mt. Pleasant School also canceled classes Monday to support families who need to evacuate.

As of Monday morning, the fire is currently estimated at 1,565 acres and is 5% contained.

National Weather Service officials had issued weekend red flag warnings for parts of Oregon and Washington because of east winds and low humidity contributing to critical fire weather conditions. 

The Nakia Creek Fire started on Sunday, Oct. 9 and is believed to have been “human-caused” as there was no lightning when the fire broke out. Officials are still trying to determine exactly how the flames sparked. 

RELATED: Officials rule Nakia Creek Fire burning in Clark County ‘human caused’    

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