YAKIMA, Wash. -- One central Washington wildfire has burned across 28 square miles in just two days while another has broken out in hot, tinder-dry conditions.
The Mills Canyon Fire near Entiat has burned across more than 18,000 acres since it started Tuesday, fire spokesman Rick Scriven said Thursday evening. Residents of about a dozen homes have been told to evacuate, while more than 200 other homes were threatened.
A 30-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 97A reopened Thursday after being closed for 24 hours by the fire.
About 40 miles away, on the west side of Lake Chelan, the new 25-Mile Fire quickly burned across about 350 acres by Thursday evening. Some residents have been told to leave their homes.
Chelan County Fire Chief Mike Asher told CBS Seattle affiliate KIRO-TV conditions are so dry and windy so early in the year that he believes this could be the worst wildfire season in a lifetime.
"Unless something dramatically changes with our weather, we could be looking at fire danger for months to come," he said.
By late Thursday night, the 25-Mile Fire was burning away from homes and deeper into Forest Service land, KING-TV reported.
About 450 firefighters attacked the Mills Canyon blaze Thursday. None of the fire has been contained, Scriven said.
Firefighting conditions improved a little as the wind dropped.
"We had heavy wind last night, but now things have settled down," another Mills Canyon fire spokesman, Joe Anderson, said Thursday afternoon.
"Firefighters from all over the state have come in to protect the structures," Anderson said.
No homes have burned, and there have been no injuries, he said.
Near Spokane, a wildfire near Ford in Stevens County has burned about 1 square mile but was reported 80 percent contained.
Another fire burned two mobile homes, as well as outbuildings and vehicles, near Yakima. It spread across 20 acres of brush before firefighters bulldozed a line around it Wednesday night.