Western states battle wildfires

Numerous fires largely out of control

CLE ELUM, Wash. | August 15, 2012

The Taylor Bridge wildfire in central Washington Sate has moved to within 75 miles of Seattle, fire officials said Wednesday.

The wind-driven blaze has destroyed more than 43 square miles of dry forest and brush, damaged homes and forced hundreds of people to evacuate, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"In some of these areas that are extremely dry, if the fires get into the big, tall sage, it will really take off," said fire spokesman Rick Scriven. Another worry is the wind.

"If this fire gets anymore wind-driven, they're going to have a heck of a fight on their hands," said Scriven.

In southern California, a fast-moving wildfire has burned 6,000 acres in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains.

The blaze, just 5 percent contained Tuesday evening, was moving perilously close to tinder-dry areas of the San Bernardino National Forest, officials said.

In northeast San Diego County, four fast-moving blazes have burned more 2,300 acres.

Officials said some of the fires were started by lightning strikes.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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