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The 243 Fire in Grant County near Beverly has now burned nearly 19,000 acres since it started Monday night. It continues moving eastward, but is now 25 percent contained. There are nearly 400 firefighters on scene from local, state and federal agencies. Washington DNR sent in two helicopters, two small planes, 20 firefighters and five engines. Hundreds of evacuation notices have gone out to homes in Beverly, Wanapum Village and Schawana. Royal City schools set up an evacuation shelter.

Besides the many farm and agricultural lands, the fire has impacted land important to migrating Monarch Butterfly. Some of this land is also home to protected Ground Squirrels. High voltage power line poles, train trestles, and other infrastructures are also at risk, as well as public recreation areas.

Yesterday’s rain helped the firefighting efforts and officials expect more containment today.