An American kestral takes in the setting sun, made red from Northwest wildfire smoke, from a power line just outside Walla Walla on Monday evening. (Greg Lehman/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin via AP)

An American kestral takes in the setting sun, made red from Northwest wildfire smoke, from a power line just outside Walla Walla on Monday evening. (Greg Lehman/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin via AP)

Wildfire evacuations announced near Mount Rainier

Associated Press

TROUTDALE, Ore. — A wildfire burning near Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state has grown to more than 29 square miles, and heavy smoke is blanketing many cities in Washington.

Mandatory evacuations were announced for the fire near Mount Rainier, including for the Crystal Mountain ski resort. The resort shut down Monday because of smoke.

Meanwhile, heavy smoke is damaging air quality from Seattle to Spokane on Tuesday, with reports of ash raining down across the state.

The air quality in Spokane was rated as hazardous on Tuesday morning. The National Weather Service says it is likely to get worse as wind shifts bring in smoke from fires in Canada, Montana, Oregon and Washington. People in the Spokane region are being advised they should remain indoors if they can.

Miles of interstate highway east of Portland, Oregon, remained closed as crews battled a growing wildfire that has caused evacuations and sparked blazes across the Columbia River in Washington state.

Hundreds of people have been forced to evacuate because of a seven-square mile fire that started Saturday. The blaze, which officials think may have been caused by fireworks, forced the shutdown of more than 30 miles of I-84 east of Portland through the scenic Columbia River Gorge.

Authorities said Tuesday embers from the fire caused a new blaze across the Columbia River in Washington state.

Evacuation orders remained in place in and around Cascade Locks, Oregon, for dozens of structures and businesses.

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