Fire Nears More Than 100 Homes in Washington State

WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) -- Authorities ordered residents of more than 70 homes near Lake Wenatchee to evacuate Monday to avoid a fast-burning wildfire.

The fire has burned about 500 acres of brush and trees on the southern face of Dirtyface Mountain in Chelan County. A storm front was increasing winds Monday, and the fire was threatening homes in the Whispering Pines subdivision, said Forest Service spokesman Robin DeMario. The fire already had burned to within 100 yards of homes there.

Residents of 73 homes were ordered to evacuate, while those in another 70 scattered homes in the area remained under alert for possible evacuation, DeMario said.

The blaze started late Saturday as a structure fire on private land before spreading to state-protected land and finally parts of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, DeMario said. The fire was burning grass, brush and timber in extremely steep terrain.

Firefighters were using hiking trails to help build fire lines, and helicopters and air tankers were dropping water and retardant on the scene, DeMario said.

More than 100 firefighters were assigned to the fire Monday, and officials expected more to arrive. A combined state and federal team took over management of the fire Monday morning, DeMario said.

No structures have been damaged, and no injuries have been reported.