Firefighters battle wildfires in Washington, California

Firefighters battle wildfires in Washington, California

Several hundred firefighters struggled Friday to contain quickly-expanding wildfires in two states of U. S., Washington and drought-hit California.

In central Washington, a blaze in the Chelan County near Entiat brushed across nearly 30 square miles, threatening more than two hundred homes and damaging a few outbuildings.

Fire operations spokesperson Laurie Dowie said the blaze prompted authorities to issue evacuation order for several dozen homes, and temporarily close a stretch of highway near the fire, which could be contained only partially by afternoon.

Separately, hundreds of firefighters were struggling to contain a wildfire in California that was expanding very fast after erupting afternoon yesterday in a remote area of the Sequoia National Forest.

Cindy Thill, a spokesperson for the U. S. Forest Service, said the blaze started at around 2 p. m. on Friday and engulfed more than one sq. mile of the area in Kiavah Wilderness within a couple of hours.

Authorities have warned that hot, dry conditions could rekindle wildfires. A fire department official said, "As heat hit this area, some of the areas will have a tendency to rekindle."

Worried at the soaring number of fires, authorities have extended outdoor burn ban to include several million acres of lands. In Washington, the burn ban now includes Eastern as well as Western parts of the state. The ban will remain in effect through September 30, 2014.

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