- Associated Press - Saturday, August 15, 2015

COLVILLE, Wash. (AP) - Hundreds of people were evacuating from the central Washington city of Chelan as lightning-sparked wildfires advanced and flames and smoke were visible from downtown.

The Chelan Wal-Mart was among the locations under a mandatory evacuation order. The Red Cross set up an evacuation center at Chelan Elementary School.

The fires near Chelan were some of the many blazes crews were battling throughout Washington as windy and hot conditions made areas tinder-dry. Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Janet Pierce says most of the state is under a red-flag warning.

One blaze near Cougar Creek, near the Yakima Indian Reservation, had burned 28 square miles and had zero percent containment. The state on Friday requested help from the National Guard to fight that fire.

A blaze burning northeast of Colville had scorched almost 5 square miles and was only 3 percent contained. Campgrounds in the area were under evacuation orders.

And a wildfire in a rugged area of northern Washington state chased hundreds of people from their homes and burned 10 to 12 structures.



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