Fire crews gain ground on Colockum Tarps fire

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by KING 5 News and Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on August 2, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 2 at 7:04 PM

WENATCHEE - Fire crews are working to complete a fire line around a wildfire that has burned across 125 square miles south of Wenatchee.

Fire officials say firefighters are working to build lines around the remaining 6 miles of the Colockum Tarps Fire and will mop up and secure fire lines that have already been built.

More than 830 firefighters are assigned to the fire, which is 50 percent contained.

Firefighters in north-central Washington also are working to contain several small fires sparked by lightning on Thursday.

Jim Duck, operations coordinator for the region's Interagency Dispatch Center, said there were reports of new wildfires in Okanogan, Douglas and Kittitas counties.

Related: Statewide wildfire information

Eastern Washington has been under a red-flag warning for extreme threat of wildfires, with dry fuels and thunderstorms forecast with lightning and erratic winds.

Duck says some areas -- but not all -- reported rain from the storms, which will aid the firefighting efforts.

Fire officials say numerous structures and utility infrastructures remain threatened. Communities in Kittitas County are especially anxious after dealing with the Taylor Bridge Fire last year.

The Mile Marker 28 Fire near Goldendale, which has burned over 27,000 acres, is now 75 percent contained.

The Department of Natural Resources has issued a statewide burn ban on all lands under DNR protection, effective through September 30. The ban applies to all forestlands in Washington state, except federal lands, and prohibits campfires in all state, local and private campgrounds.

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