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1-Year-Old Dies After Wildfire Traps Family

They tried to flee fast-moving Washington blaze
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2020 10:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – A 1-year-old boy in Washington state has become the youngest victim of the devastating wildfires burning in the Pacific Northwest. Okanogan County Sheriff Tony Hawley says Uriel Hyland died and parents Jacob Hyland, 31, and Jamie Hyland, 26, were severely burned while trying to escape the Cold Springs Fire, Fox reports. Relatives tells KHQ that the family, who live in the Seattle area, were trapped by the fire while visiting a property they'd inherited in Okanogan, 150 miles northwest of Spokane. Their burned vehicle was discovered Tuesday after they were reported missing. Rescuers found the family early Wednesday on the banks of the Columbia River. The boy was dead at the scene and his parents were hospitalized in critical condition with third-degree burns, authorities say.

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The sheriff's office says the family was apparently forced to abandon the truck, which was found near their property. The Cold Springs Fire, which started Sunday and exploded in size Monday, has burned 337,000 acres together with the nearby Pearl Hill Fire. Hawley says the cause of the fire is still unclear, but if it turns out to be arson, the child's death will be treated as a possible homicide. "To even be talking about the death of a 1-year-old is just devastating," the sheriff tells the Spokesman-Review. Elsewhere in the region, authorities say a fast-moving wildfire in Lyons, Ore., killed 12-year-old Wyatt Tofte, who was found dead along with his dog, KGW reports. Relatives believe the boy's grandmother also died in the fire. (Read more wildfires stories.)

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