Wildfires continue burning across Central, Eastern Washington

Wildfires continue burning across Central, Eastern Washington
As smoke and fire blow through the lower Entiat Valley near Entiat, Wash., on Wednesday afternoon, July 9, 2014, a helicopter with a bucket of water flies to the fire to drop its load.
ENTIAT, Wash. - A new wildfire near Spokane quickly burned across nearly 700 acres Wednesday, prompting evacuation orders for about a dozen homes. In central Washington, a wildfire burned down to a major highway and threatened several more homes.

And another new brush fire burned two mobile homes Wednesday night near Yakima. Officials told the Yakima Herald-Republic flames also destroyed three or four outbuildings, a camp trailer and several vehicles. No injuries were reported.

In northeast Washington, fire spokesman Guy Gifford said Wednesday evening that several dozen homes in all are threatened by the blaze south of Ford that started earlier in the day. About 100 firefighters were on the lines Wednesday night with planes and helicopters dropping water and retardant.

Ground crews aided by bulldozers and fire engines planned to work through the night, he said.

Gifford said he wasn't aware of any damage to homes. Several firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion.

In central Washington's Chelan County, a wildfire that has burned across at least 7,000 acres, or more than 10 square miles, west of Entiat burned down to U.S. Highway 97A, prompting the temporary closure of a 30-mile stretch of that road between Wenatchee and Chelan.

Mandatory evacuation notices were issued for several homes there Wednesday night, fire spokesman Rick Scriven said. Several dozen other homeowners were on alert.

About 250 firefighters aided by air tankers dropping retardant and helicopters dipping water from the Columbia River attacked the Mills Canyon fire on Wednesday. The fire started Tuesday.

There's no containment yet on either fire.

Another fire early Wednesday burned about 800 acres - more than a square mile - near Quincy in central Washington. Grant County Fire District 3 Chief Don Fortier said it was nearly out by midmorning.

A fire near Ford in Stevens County has burned about a square mile and threatened a dozen homes.

Forecasters say hot, dry weather through the weekend will keep the wildfire danger high.

Hot weather is forecast through the weekend for central and eastern Washington.