- Associated Press - Thursday, August 20, 2015

TONASKET, Wash. (AP) - Authorities issued a mandatory evacuation order for the north-central Washington town of Tonasket as wildfires fanned by high winds raged out of control.

The Okanogan County Emergency Management department issued the order for the town of 1,000 people Thursday evening. Residents were told a shelter was open at Brewster High School.

Officials had warned that winds topping 40 miles per hour would complicate efforts firefighting efforts Thursday and that the blazes would almost certainly spread.

Gov. Jay Inslee says more than 450 square miles were burning in the state this year, an increase from about 390 square miles last year.

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