17,000 acres burn in central Wash. wildfire

17,000 acres burn in central Wash. wildfire

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by Associated Press

KTVB.COM

Posted on July 28, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 29 at 8:49 AM

GOLDENDALE, Wash. (AP) -- Nearly 17,000 acres have burned in the Mile Marker 28 fire near Goldendale along Highway 97. Several homes are under a mandatory evacuation while other residents are being told to prepare to evacuate.

U.S. Highway 97 from Toppenish to Goldendale remains closed.

The fire was 15 percent contained Sunday and the cause was still under investigation.

More than 1,000 personnel and five helicopters were fighting the fire.  Multiple brush trucks and strike teams from eastern Washington joined crews already battling the blaze.  Authorities from Spokane Fire District 9 said at least one strike team with five wildland engines was headed to the wildfire.

The Department of Natural Resources said crews were forced to retreat over the weekend from building a fire-line because the flames were so active.

The fire along the top of Satus Pass was threatening about 180 homes, but none have been damaged.

Meanwhile, the Colockum Tarps fire burning south of Wenatchee destroyed a mobile home and another structure. 

Spokeswoman Kay McKellar says the fire burning on about 1.5 square miles at Colockum Pass has forced the evacuation of more than 40 homes and cabins in the area.

Two helicopters and an airplane are dropping water and fire retardant on the blaze. About 100 firefighters from Chelan and Douglas counties as well as the Washington Department of Natural Resources are working on the fire. No injuries have been reported.

Chelan County Fire Chief Bill Neckels says high temperatures and 30 mph winds are making the effort to fight this fire and protecting homes and cabins in the area more difficult.

The cause of the Colockum Tarps fire was also unkown.

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