Wildfire near Gorge amphitheater prompts evacuations

Grant County officials are asking everyone to leave the area of a wildfire burning just east of the Columbia River near the Gorge Amphitheatre.

There are few homes in the area of the fire near Old Vantage Highway and Frenchman Coulee, but the region is home to many camping and recreational spots.

The concert venue known as the Gorge Amphitheater in George, Washington, is hosting its annual Memorial Day weekend event, the Sasquatch Music Festival.

Wind was blowing the fire away from the amphitheater.

Smoke was visible from the festival, where high winds prompted the closure of the main stage, but the Grant County Sheriff’s Office said the concert venue was not at risk.

The office issued a Level Three evacuation notice shortly after 3 p.m. for the area around Old Vantage Highway and Frenchman Coulee.

“Leave now. Large wildfire burning in the area,” the notice said.

Smoke from the fire could be seen from the Gorge. Sasquatch! canceled a main-stage set by the band Houndmouth, citing “high winds.”

The sheriff’s office named the blaze Sunland Fire and said it was burning in dry grass and sage.

As of 4:45 p.m, Silica Road was closed between Sunland Road and Interstate 90.


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