Wildfire near Entiat stable; more fires start

ENTIAT — Fire officials say they’re getting a better handle on a wildfire burning in central Washington even as new, smaller fires were reported around the state Monday.

The Mills Canyon fire near Entiat was 34 percent contained Monday night, fire spokesman Vladimir Steblina said. It has burned across about 35 square miles. The area saw a few lightning strikes Monday but no new fire starts, he added.

A new 20-acre brush fire near Lyle in southern Washington prompted the temporary closure of about 5 miles of state Highway 14 Monday night, the state Department of Natural Resources said.

In the Methow Valley of north central Washington, ground crews, air tankers and helicopters hit hard Monday at a new 600-acre fire burning in grass and sagebrush south of Carlton, spokesman Chuck Johnson said. No homes were believed threatened.

Residents of three dozen homes near the Mills Canyon fire have been told to evacuate. Officials notified residents of about 500 other homes to watch fire updates and be prepared to leave if necessary.

Monday’s focus was on the southwest and northwest corners of the fire.

“They’re taking advantage of the light winds we’ve had to go to a direct attack on the fire,” fire spokesman Danny O’Connor said.

That means they’re getting closer to the flames and going after hot spots, he said.

The Mills Canyon fire was the largest of a half-dozen fires burning in central and eastern Washington. The others were all less than 3 square miles.

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