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1,700 firefighters battle flames in Washington and Oregon as hundreds flee homes

- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 1, 2013

More than 1,000 firefighters on Thursday were still fighting 200 square miles of blazes that were sweeping across Washington and Oregon, sending hundreds of homeowners fleeing.

In Washington alone, 1,700 firefighters were on the scene, battling a couple of huge fires that had already burned through 85,000 acres and wrecked several homes and buildings, Reuters reported.

Air tankers dropped water and flame-fighting chemicals on the fires. Firefighters estimated one of the fires — the Colockum Tarps, which actually broke out Saturday — was only 8 percent contained, Reuters said.

Investigators still don't know the cause of the fire.

But on Thursday, new worries arose: Emergency responders were cautioning residents to watch for new fires that could be sparked by expected thunderstorms.

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