‘An unprecedented event’: Around 480,000 acres have burned in Washington since Monday

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Gov. Jay Inlsee on Wednesday held a news conference after touring Bonney Lake, where the Sumner Grade Fire has burned more than 800 acres including four homes, and has forced evacuations.

Inslee previously issued a statewide emergency proclamation due to fires in eastern and central Washington. However, the fires have only gotten worse and due to recent weather conditions, around 480,000 acres have burned since Monday,

>> PHOTOS: Western Washington fires cause road closures, evacuations

“This is an extraordinary series of events we have suffered,” Inslee said, pointing to the combination of dry grass, high temperatures and heavy winds.

The governor said the conditions have been exacerbated by the changing climate in Washington, and said he looks forward to working with people across the state to fight the cause of the fires.

Inslee then turned his attention to helping the victims of the fire, adding that he will visit Malden, a small town in Whitman County, on Thursday.

>> 1-year-old killed when family tried to evacuate Okanogan County wildfire

In addition to declaring a statewide emergency, the governor said he will sign a proclamation which will will allow people to get access to cash assistance if they qualify, even if they have previously received cash assistance in the COVID-19 response emergency.

“We want to help these families who have nothing except the socks they’re wearing,” Inslee said.

Watch a full replay of Inslee’s Wednesday news conference:

Watch a full replay of Inslee’s Tuesday news conference