80% of the town’s structures in the small farming town of Malden in eastern Washington state, 35 miles south of Spokane, was destroyed by Whitman County Fire, a fast-moving fire Monday. “The scale of this disaster really can’t be expressed in words,” said Whitman County Sheriff Brett Myers in a statement. Acoording him, the community has been changed for a lifetime. As of early Tuesday there were no reports of injuries. Deputies went door-to-door and used PA systems on their patrol vehicles to tell residents to evacuate immediately. Malden lost its fire station, post office, city hall, library and most of its homes.
“The fire was too hot and too quick ,” Myers said. There were about 200 residents. Homes in nearby Pine City were also damaged or destroyed, according to the sheriff’s office. Whitman County Emergency Management, the sheriff’s office and Fire Incident Command are working on a plan to take inventory of the damage and account for residents who were in their homes or in the communities when the firestorm hit.