Firefighters battle wildfires across Washington state; red flag warnings in place in much of Eastern Washington, including Goldendale, Tri-Cities, Yakima, Walla Walla, Wenatchee and Moses Lake

GOLDENDALE, Washington , July 26, 2013 () – A wildfire burning near Satus Pass in south-central Washington doubled in size to about 4,600 acres or about 7 square miles, a Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman said Friday. And east of Seattle crews battled a blaze broke out just outside of North Bend.

The blaze is on Mount Si, a popular hiking destination. KOMO-TV reported ( http://tinyurl.com/lbfyw9f ) that six local fire engine companies have responded, but firefighters from the Department of Natural Resources would take over firefighting efforts. A firefighting helicopter is also on its way from Ellensburg. Bud Backer, deputy chief of Eastside Fire and Rescue, said there was only one vacant house in the vicinity of the blaze.

Near Goldendale, firefighters were still trying to build lines to contain the fire that broke out Monday, burning grass, brush and timber, said spokeswoman Janet Pearce in Olympia.

One structure — not necessarily a home — has been lost, Pearce said. About 30 homes in the area are threatened with some people evacuating.

Most of Highway 97 between Goldendale and Toppenish in south-central Washington including Satus Pass remained closed due to smoke and the danger of debris rolling off steep hillsides.

Pearce described fire conditions Friday as extreme.

The Weather Service issued a red flag warning for the danger in much of Eastern Washington, including Goldendale, Tri-Cities, Yakima, Walla Walla, Wenatchee and Moses Lake.

Firefighters had better luck with a fire that broke out Thursday in Okanogan County near Twisp. A quick response with seven engines and a helicopter had it contained Friday at just 5 acres, Pearce said.

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