Wildfires burning across E. Washington burn three homes

Wildfires burning across E. Washington burn three homes

Credit: Jim Forman / KING

Firefighters on protection duty in West Wenatchee

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by AP

KREM.com

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 7:04 AM

WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) --  One of the dozens of wildfires burning in Eastern Washington has grown dramatically in windy conditions and has burned three homes.  

Fire spokeswoman Karen Ripley says 35 mph winds overnight Monday pushed the Leahy Fire burning north and west of Grand Coulee, Wash., from about 11,000 acres to more than 60,000 acres, or 95 square miles. Ripley said Tuesday night that fire has burned three homes and nine outbuildings. One firefighter was injured.

The Leahy and Barker Canyon fires are burning dry grass and sagebrush near Grand Coulee, about 160 miles east of Seattle. The town is not threatened and there are no mandatory evacuations.  The lightning-sparked fires are 20 percent contained.

More homes are being evacuated as firefighters continue to battle dozens of wildfires across Eastern Washington.  Fifty-four homes have been evacuated off of Mission Creek Road near Cashmere. A wildfire there has burned about 300 acres.

Fire spokeswoman Connie Mehmel says the fire is not burning far from other fires burning west of Wenatchee, but they are not expected to merge. She also says numerous trails have been closed on the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest by multiple wildfires.

Nineteen homes are still evacuated north of Entiat by another wildfire. And another 120 homes have been evacuated from the area of the Wenatchee fire that now covers 1,000 acres.

A lightning storm on Sept. 8 is being blamed for multiple fires in the region.

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