Washington Fire Grows, but Homes Appear Out of Danger

Helicopters and heavy equipment worked with firefighters Sunday to contain a wildfire that had grown to about 3,500 acres in south-central Washington.


ROOSEVELT, Wash. (AP) -- Helicopters and heavy equipment worked with firefighters Sunday to contain a wildfire that had grown to about 3,500 acres in south-central Washington.

About 225 firefighters were battling the blaze, which was in steep, inaccessible terrain.

Reinforcements from nearby counties were called in over the weekend when local officials appealed to the patrol for help, troopers said. The flames were first reported Saturday afternoon.

Fifteen homes that had been threatened appeared to be safe Sunday, officials said. Some 20 people were evacuated as a safety precaution Saturday, but the State Patrol said evacuations had ended Sunday.

Troopers also said drivers could expect short road closures to accommodate water-carrying helicopters in the area of the fire, about four miles north of Roosevelt near Washington 14.

Investigators said the fire apparently was caused by a combine harvesting wheat. Temperatures in the 90s and wind gusts up to 20 mph helped stoke the blaze, troopers said.