GRAND COULEE, Wash. -- Firefighters are hoping overnight efforts to burn dry grass and brush and dig lines will keep several Eastern Washington wildfires from growing.
The Barker Canyon Complex, made of the Barker Canyon and Leahy fires, has burned almost 92,000 acres. It is now 20 percent contained.
The Level II evacuation order was lifted Wednesday, and all area roads are open to traffic.
Lightning started the Complex near Grand Coulee Saturday night.
Favorable weather conditions with low winds enabled firefighters to burn dry fuels in advance of the flames at fires near Grand Coulee Dam and near Wenatchee.
Firefighters burn dry fuels to slow wildfires.
Several fires near Wenatchee together have burned across 39 square miles. No homes have been lost on any of those blazes. More than 600 firefighters are assigned to the fires.
Washington state officials say smoke from dozens of lightning-sparked wildfires is not only blanketing much of central and eastern Washington, it's drifting into parts of western Washington, where alarmed residents are calling 911.
Smoke from wildfires spreads to Colfax Thursday. --Othello Richards
Smoke from wildfires spreads to Pullman Thursday. Via @WSUPullman
State Department of Natural Resources spokesman Bryan Flint said Wednesday that 911 centers in five southwest Washington counties have reported being inundated with false fire reports prompted by smoke from fires east of the Cascade Mountains.
Flint says easterly winds are moving the smoke through the Columbia Gorge and across gaps in the Cascades. He says that pattern is likely to continue over the next day or so.
Bottom line advice: report any columns of smoke, but not just general haze.