Wildfire Rages In Remote Grasslands In Washington State

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A wildfire burning in dry grasslands in a lowly populated part of central Washington state grew dramatically on Thursday, driven by hot weather and gusty winds.

The fire burning northwest of the town of Quincy increased in size from 16 square miles (41 square kilometers) on Wednesday to 74 square miles (192 square kilometers) on Thursday, the state Department of Natural Resources said. It was being fought by 275 firefighters, who had it 20 percent contained.

“Dry and gusty red flag conditions resulted in extreme fire growth in steep and rugged terrain,” the agency said in statement.

The lightning-caused fire started earlier in the week, and roared through ranch land owned by Molly Linville. She took to Facebook to write about the flames burning across her ranch on Tuesday night. But she noted that her cattle and farmhouse all survived.

“I still cannot figure out how they survived,” Linville wrote. “Counting my blessings.”

Meanwhile, a fire burning near Yakima, Washington, prompted the mandatory evacuation of about 20 homes, with the occupants of another 100 homes warned to be ready to leave quickly. That fire was 4 square miles (10 square kilometers) and was 29 percent contained.

Another fire burning near Wenatchee, Washington, covered 14 square miles (36 square kilometers) Thursday, and was 20 percent contained. That fire threatened about 80 homes. That fire did not grow overnight, the natural resources agency said Thursday.

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