Photos: Wildfires force evacuations in Washington

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by ROBERTA ROMERO

KING 5 News and Associated Press

Posted on September 8, 2011 at 12:34 PM

SEATTLE -- Firefighters say one unoccupied structure has burned and at least 100 homes have been evacuated because of a wildfire burning near Satus Pass in south central Washington.

The fire started Wednesday off of Highway 97 between Goldendale and Toppenish. It has now burned nearly 2,000 acres in the area.  Mandatory evacuation began overnight for dozens of homes.

"160 people have been advised to evacuate and that at least 150 homes and businesses are threatened by the fire," said Karma Dickerson, a reporter with affiliate KNDO TV who is at the command station.

The state took over management of the fire Thursday and ordered 65 engines and water tenders to the scene. Fire managers are operating from the county fairgrounds in Goldendale, where an evcuation center has also been set up.
 
A group of nuns from St. Johns Greek Monastery, located about 10 miles outside Goldendale, have been doing their best to protect their home and place of worship.

The women were seen in their full habits, hauling garden hoses and water buckets across Highway 97 to help put out the fire.

At least 200 firefighters were working on putting out the blaze. Weather conditions make it difficult with another hot windy day in the forecast.

Brooks Memorial State Park is closed and traffic is disrupted on Highway 97 between Toppenish and Goldendale.
 
Another wildfire in Washington has burned about 400 acres in a remote part of the Brothers Wilderness on the Olympic Peninsula.

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