Dramatic Scenes From Washington State Wildfire

A hillside fire quickly made its way to residential and commercial areas.

ByABC News
June 29, 2015, 3:47 PM

— -- A fast-moving wildfire in Washington state has left nearly 3,000 acres scorched and forced thousands of residents from their homes.

The grass fire started Sunday on a remote hillside outside of Wenatchee, Washington. Fueled by triple-digit temperatures -- Wenatchee had a record high of 109 Sunday -- as well as strong winds, the blaze made its way quickly into residential and commercial areas outpacing firefighting teams.

So far, more than 24 homes have been destroyed.

"We've got hundreds of homes under evacuation notices," Rich Magnussen of the Chelan County Emergency Management Office told ABC News affiliate KOMO-TV.

Fire officials overnight declared a Level 3 evacuation, going door-to-door telling residents to leave.

"I thought I'd get there and it'd be like, smoky," resident Christie Adams said. "Our backyard was on fire."

In Wenatchee, burning embers from the so-called Sleepy Hollow Fire helped set local downtown businesses ablaze. At one wholesale plant, flames mixed with propane tanks created dangerous explosions.

"We could see embers just flying," said Albert Rookard, who watched the fire from the other side of the Wenatchee River. "There was fire in so many places."

Fire officials said the combination of rain this morning with dying winds had helped tame the fires in the hills. The fires in the downtown and residential areas remained active. An industrial fire in downtown Wenatchee continued to shoot thick, black smoke as officials issued an ammonia leak, warning residents to shelter in place.

A red-flag warning remained in effect till 8 p.m. today, though the fires on the hills appeared to be out.

Dominick Bonny, who watched the wildfire from across the Wenatchee River as well, called the scene "mind-blowing."

"It was like we were watching a natural disaster within arm's reach," Bonny said. "We watched the entire hill burn."

Two firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation and another two, for heat-related issues. One firefighter had to be sent to a hospital.

The cause of the fire was still unknown.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.