Our Northwest

Early wildfires turning Evergreen State black

Friday, July 11, 2014by  Jon Osterberg

Wildfires are scorching Washington early this summer. We're barely into July and homes are being threatened across half of the state.
   As of today (July 10), the Mills Canyon fire near Entiat had charred 10,100 acres and shut down Highway 97A, which parallels the Columbia River between Wenatchee and Chelan. All homeowners in the area were urged to leave.
   The Corkscrew Canyon fire in Stevens County threatened 60 homes and had spread to 700 acres, while the Rock Hill fire east of Chelan had burned 2,209 acres as of July 10.
   Just last week, fire burned rangeland on Manastash Ridge south of Ellensburg, temporarily closing Interstate 82. And a fire on Umptanum Ridge north of Selah in late June scorched 15 square miles and burned one home before winds shifted it toward the Yakima River.
   Lightning struck 750 places south of Bend in central Oregon July 8, according to the National Weather Service, prompting fear of fire because of gusty winds and low humidity.
   Rural homeowners can help protect themselves from wildfire by preparing a defensible perimeter around their homes. Follow these simple steps from our Don't Get Burned! wildfire site.

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