Thousands of acres burn in Western wildfires

SAN FRANCISCO — A rash of wildfires spreading across parched Western states prompted two governors to declare states of emergency and forced evacuations from hundreds of homes.

Here's an update on how the tinderbox conditions caused by drought, high temperatures and wind are sending wide stretches of mostly rural Washington, Oregon and Nevada up in flames.

Washington:The Chiwaukum Creek Fire about 10 miles north of Leavenworth — a small town near the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest— had raced across more than 1,200 acres by Wednesday evening. As many as 400 people have been told to leave their homes or cabins and 800 more homes were threatened.

A state of emergency was declared for 20 counties in Eastern Washington.

The Mills Canyon Complex fire, which had swept through more than 20,000 acres, was 40% contained as of Wednesday afternoon.

The state of Washington received federal approval to use a drone to help it monitor the wildfires.

Oregon: Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber declared a state of emergency so the state could mobilize the Oregon National Guard to help combat the fires.

There are 13 ongoing in the state.

Some of the hardest-hit areas include the Buzzard complex of fires in the eastern part of the state, which was approaching 90,000 acres.

The Bailey Butte fire burned more than 2,000 acres and was moving south into the Ochoco National Forest. Combined with two other fires in what's known as the Waterman Complex, more than 4,000 acres were burning. The fires started from lightening strikes. Some 428 people were assigned to fight the fire.

Nevada: A wildfire near Carson City overtook 150 acres on Wednesday.

California: The Bully Fire in Shasta County, which was sparked by the exhaust from a marijuana grower's truck, was 40% contained, according to Cal Fire.


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