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Lightning Starts More Wildfires In Northwest

Nearly a dozen wildfires continue to send up plumes of smoke across the Northwest.

Some of the large fires are under control including the Colockum Tarps fire at about 81,000 acres near Wenatchee, Washington.

But in southern Idaho, fires are ripping through timber and brush near Challis and near Mountain Home. That 30,000 acres complex of blazes closed U.S. Highway 20 and prompted evacuations for the small town of Prairie. People in Pine and Featherville, Idaho, are also being encouraged to leave.

In eastern Oregon, near John Day, lightning-sparked fires got pretty close to some structures and houses.

Brian Hubbard, the barkeep at the restaurant, Grubsteak Mining Company, says more lightning this weekend will challenge firefighters. “They’re going to get on it, they’re going to extinguish it, you know these guys are damn good at their job, they know what they’re doing, they know how to do it, and they do it the right way and they do it fast.”

In southern Oregon, the Douglas Complex is still burning, at 44,000 acres near Glendale. The Big Windy Complex fire is burning near Grants Pass. In remote southeast Oregon, ranchers are fighting the Grassy Mountain Complex fire on range land. So far, it has not threatened communities like Arock or Jordan Valley.

On the Web:

InciWeb wildfire updates: Idaho - Oregon - Washington

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.