Crews battle wildfires in Washington, California


ENTIAT, Wash. (AP) — Several hundred firefighters worked
Friday to contain a fire that has burned grass and brush across nearly
30 square miles in central Washington.
The blaze threatened more
than 200 homes and damaged a few outbuildings in Chelan County near
Entiat, roughly midway between Seattle and Spokane.
Residents of
several dozen homes have been told to evacuate, fire operations
spokeswoman Laurie Dowie said. The fire was partially contained by
Friday afternoon. Also, a stretch of highway near the blaze was
temporarily closed because of firefighting work in the area.
that hot, dry conditions would increase fire dangers, state officials
extended an outdoor burn ban to include all 13 million acres of lands
that the state protects.
Meanwhile, firefighters aggressively
attacked a California wildfire that was spreading fast after starting
Friday afternoon in a remote part of the Sequoia National Forest.
Forest Service spokeswoman Cindy Thill said that the fire started
around 2 p.m. and within a couple of hours had burned more than one
square mile of the Kiavah Wilderness area. The blaze burned through
shrubs and in some places skipped across the treetops, she said.
homes or giant Sequoia trees were in danger from the fire, but air
crews were hitting the flames with tankers and helicopters while
hundreds of firefighters head to the scene.
The Sequoia National
Forest, where the fire started, is south of and geographically separate
from the Sequoia National Park east of Fresno, which is home giant
Sequoia trees.
A blaze burning near Spokane was held at less than 2
square miles and was partially contained, spokesman Chuck Turley said
Friday afternoon.
Firefighters working the blaze near Ford in
Stevens County hope it doesn’t flare up in the hot, dry conditions
forecast for the weekend, Turley said.
"As heat hit this area, some of the areas will have a tendency to rekindle," Turley said.
Lake Spokane campground would be closed at least through the weekend,
he said. Officials are urging people to be vigilant as hot and dry
conditions increase fire risks throughout the state.
A burn ban,
which has already been in effect in Eastern Washington, now includes
Western Washington. The ban is in effect through Sept. 30.
have been 265 fires on state lands so far this season, scorching a total
of about 19,000 acres, or roughly 30 square miles, as of Friday
morning. Most of that damage has been caused by the Mills Canyon fire
near Entiat, said Janet Pearce, with the Department of Natural

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