WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) - Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has visited a firefighting camp in Wenatchee and promised more state resources to help crews working to contain wildfires burning across Eastern Washington.
Earlier Thursday, the governor signed an emergency declaration for all the state's counties east of the Cascade Mountains. Resources authorized by that proclamation include National Guard helicopters. A Chinook helicopter is able to deliver a 2,000-gallon water bucket.
The Wenatchee World reports that Gregoire pledged two National Guard helicopters promptly and two more soon. She noted that the availability of firefighting resources in Washington and nearby states is extremely limited due to existing firefighting efforts. She says state Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark called her to ask for additional helicopters to help fight the fires.
Gregoire says she's "very concerned" about containing the fires that have forced several hundred people from their homes.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
GRAND COULEE, Wash. (AP) - Firefighters are hoping overnight efforts to burn dry grass and brush and dig lines will keep several Eastern Washington wildfires from growing. Favorable weather conditions with low winds enabled firefighters to burn dry fuels in advance of the flames at fires near Grand Coulee Dam and near Wenatchee. Two fires burning 6 miles north of Grand Coulee have blackened more than 140 square miles and destroyed three homes and nine outbuildings. The fires are 20 percent contained. Several fires near Wenatchee together have burned across 39 square miles. No homes have been lost on any of those blazes. More than 600 firefighters are assigned to the fires.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)