Wildfires in Washington state force evacuations

July 30, 2013 at 4:15 PM

WENATCHEE, Wash., July 30 (UPI) -- Two major fires in central Washington state forced evacuations of scores of homes, as firefighters braced for extreme weather that could spark more fires.

"We're expecting another large lightning storm to pass through (Tuesday) and with all the dry fuels on the ground, there's an ignition source. Our weather models are showing elevated probabilities for large fires," said Carol Connolly, spokeswoman for the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center.

Two wildfires were burning in the state Tuesday, near the towns of Wenatchee and Goldendale, The Seattle Times reported.

The Colockum Tarps fire -- which ignited 15 miles south of Wenatchee Saturday in dry grass, brush and undergrowth -- has consumed 25,000 acres, destroyed three residences and several outbuildings and forced the evacuation of 65 residences.

The Mile Marker 28 fire has burned 20,000 acres of timberland and shrub brush northeast of Goldendale. Fire crews have evacuated 69 homes, the newspaper said.

There have been no reports of deaths or injuries thus far.

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