Wildfires in central Washington force evacuations

AP News
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Posted: Jul 12, 2015 4:12 PM

WATERVILLE, Wash. (AP) — Officials in central Washington are encouraging about 100 people to leave their homes Sunday in the path of a fast-growing wildfire.

The Douglas County sheriff's office issued evacuation notices Sunday morning for people living in the Palisades and Rimrock neighborhoods of Waterville. About 300 structures are threatened, but not all are homes.

Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal told KING-TV (http://is.gd/BmdxjJ ) that those in the area should not wait for an evacuation notice, however, and move their family to safety if they see the fire getting closer.

The Douglas County complex of fires, which started Friday evening, have grown to cover about 30 square miles, fire officials said. No structures have been destroyed by the two fires that officials believe were started by lightning.

The bigger fire —the one threatening homes — was burning in brush, grass and sage about 10 miles southeast of Waterville.

About 300 people from multiple local and state agencies were fighting the Douglas County fires on Sunday, with aircraft and other firefighting equipment.

The level of fire danger in many areas of Washington state remains very high or extreme.