Evacuations ordered in Washington state wildfire

YAKIMA, WA - A wildfire burning near Entiat grew to nearly 16 square miles on Thursday, and residents of 109 homes in the area were told to evacuate.

Residents of more than 120 other homes in the area have also been told to be ready to leave, said Joe Anderson, a spokesman for the fire burning at Mills Canyon.

"We had heavy wind last night, but now things have settled down," Anderson said Thursday afternoon. "There is no significant wind."

Still, the fire grew from 10 square miles to its present size in a 24-hour period, Anderson said.

Flames burned down to Highway 97A Wednesday night, forcing the closure of a 30-mile stretch.

Anderson said 450 firefighters are battling the blaze, aided by four helicopters. None of the fire has been contained, Anderson said.

"Firefighters from all over the state have come in to protect the structures," Anderson said. No homes have burned and there have been no injuries, he said.

Another fire burned two mobile homes, outbuildings and vehicles near Yakima. It spread across 20 acres of brush before firefighters bulldozed a line around it Wednesday night.

A wildfire near Ford in Stevens County has burned about a square mile and threatened more than 100 homes on Thursday. Firefighters had managed to dig a circle around the flames.

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