- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

ENTIAT, Wash. (AP) - Fire officials say a handful of new wildfires, some started by lightning, are growing dramatically in central Washington and several are threatening homes.

Transportation officials say a brush fire that jumped containment lines Tuesday temporarily closed a 20-mile stretch of Interstate 90 in the central part of the state. The highway reopened late Tuesday night.

The state’s largest wildfire, the Mills Canyon blaze near the town of Entiat, is now 40 percent contained and holding steady at about 35 square miles.

Winds forecast as high as 30 mph Wednesday could test the firefighters on all fronts.

State fire assistance has been ordered for the Stokes Road fire, burning in northcentral Washington’s Methow Valley. Spokesman Jacob McCann says that fire has grown to 600 acres with zero containment. Residents of seven homes have been told to leave.

Another fire 10 miles north of Leavenworth quickly raced across 200 to 500 acres in heavy timber. Homes are threatened there too.

Kittitas Valley firefighters are working to protect farm homes in the Badger Pocket area near Ellensburg from a wildfire burning on the northern edges of the Army’s rugged Yakima Training Center.

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