WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) - The Kittitas County Sheriff's Office has ordered residents of 75 homes and cabins to evacuate due to a wildfire. Fire crews have gained ground on the blaze south of Wenatchee, which has burned across 93 square miles of grass, sagebrush and timber. The evacuation orders have been issued to residents south of the fire. Nearly 400 firefighters are on the scene. Meanwhile, the Washington Department of Transportation says U.S. Highway 97 will reopen at noon Wednesday. Delays of up to one hour are expected. The highway has been closed for several days due to another wildfire burning near Satus Pass. The fire danger remains high through Thursday with the threat of lightning strikes from thunderstorms.PREVIOUS STORY:
ELLENSBURG, Wash. - The emergency shelter at the Mercer Creek Church in Ellensburg is still empty, the Kittitas County Red Cross confirmed to KHQ's Kelsey Watts Wednesday. Executive Director Lisa Reinhart said the shelter is on standby, and supplies including cots, blankets and bathroom kits are being brought up from Yakima as new Level 3 evacuations are in order in Kittitas County in the wake of the fast moving Colockum Tarps Fire.Fire information managers tell KHQ 75 structures are now affected by various Level 1, 2 and 3 evacuation orders just above the town of Kittitas off Highway 10, although it is not immediately clear how many families are being displaced as some of the structures are vacation homes.The fire sparked up Saturday - just four days ago southwest of Wenatchee - and is already nearly 60,000 acres, 8% contained and threatening 112 structures, according to fire management websites.On Wednesday, fire crews will be working to control the southwest flank of the fire where heavier fuels are proving challenging.
WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) - Firefighters are making progress against two big wildfires burning near Wenatchee and Goldendale in Eastern Washington. They have completed a line around the fire that burned about 35 square miles around Satus Pass, about 15 miles northeast of Goldendale. Spokesman Dam Omdal says more than 1,300 firefighters are mopping up hot spots and strengthening the lines. Evacuations have been lifted. Highway 97 remains closed between Goldendale and Toppenish. At the 93-square mile fire south of Wenatchee, spokeswoman Linden Lampman says fire retardant drops Tuesday and about 80 hot shot firefighters working overnight prevented the fire from spreading south into Kittitas County where some residents have been evacuated. Nearly 400 firefighters are on the scene. The fire danger remains high through Thursday with the threat of lightning strikes from thunderstorms.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)