CLE ELUM, Wash. (AP) — A fast-moving wildfire has burned 60 homes and almost 40 square miles of grassland, timber and sagebrush across central Washington state.
The blaze started yesterday afternoon and it is not contained. Fire commanders say after three weeks with no rain, the windy, hot weather isn't helping firefighting efforts.
So far, no injuries have been reported but more than 400 people have been evacuated. The fire has crept within six miles of Ellensburg, which is about 75 miles east of Seattle.
The Washington state fire is one of several blazes threating communities in the West. Crews in Northern California are making progress against an aggressive blaze in Lake County. It's grown to more than 9 square miles and has destroyed three buildings, but officials say it's in a remote area and they've lifted evacuation orders for the residents of about 500 homes.
A separate wildfire to the north has burned about 55 square miles and is threatening about 600 homes, prompting evacuation orders for communities in Plumas National Forest.
APPHOTO WAELL104: A firefighting helicopter, operated by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, works to supress the Taylor Bridge Fire east of Cle Elum, Wash., Monday, Aug. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Daily Record/Brian Myrick ) (13 Aug 2012)
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APPHOTO WAELL102: A firefighting helicopter, operated by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, works to supress flames from the Taylor Bridge Fire east of Cle Elum, Wash., Monday, Aug. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Daily Record/Brian Myrick ) (13 Aug 2012)
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APPHOTO WAKEN102: Barb Otte of West Richland holds a neighbor's horse as she watches a line of flames head across Red Mountain in West Richland, Wash., late Monday afternoon Aug. 13, 2012. Several of Kelly Arthur-Moore's neighbors rushed to help her pull three horses and other pets out of harm's way. "That's just what neighbors do," Otte said. Firefighters from several Mid-Columbia agencies attacked the blaze that burned a large portion of the north side of Red Mountain (AP Photo/The Tri-City Herald, Richard Dickin) (13 Aug 2012)
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APPHOTO WASET102: Three members of the Washington Department of Natural Resources make their way into a flaming patch of woods at the scene of a forest fire Monday, Aug. 13, 2012, near Cle Elum, Wash. By 8 PM, the fire had consumed over 2800 acres of land and residents from all over the county were in the process of being evacuated. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Jordan Stead) MAGS OUT; NO SALES; SEATTLEPI.COM OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT MANDATORY CREDIT TO: JORDAN STEAD/THE SEATTLE TIMES. (13 Aug 2012)
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