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Wildfire burns 70 homes in Wash.

1:55 AM, Aug 15, 2012   |    comments
(AP File)
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CLE ELUM, Wash. -- A fire commander says a wildfire that has destroyed at least 70 homes and burned across more than 40 square miles on the east slope of Washington's Cascade Mountains is 10 percent contained.

Incident commander Rex Reed said Tuesday night that containment line was built around the southeast corner of the Taylor Bridge Fire.

In addition to the homes, Reed estimates several hundred outbuildings have burned. At least 900 people have been evacuated as the fire burns in grassland, timber and sagebrush east of Cle Elum. No injuries have been reported.

Reed says firefighters are trying to keep the blaze out of heavy timber to the north.

The fire started Monday at a bridge construction site.

Meanwhile, federal officials investigate an Idaho wildfire death.

Sunday, 20-year-old wildfire firefighter Anne Veseth was killed by a falling tree.

Veseth and her crew were trying to extinguish the 43-acre Steep Corner fire near Orofino. U.S. Forest Service spokesman Phil Sammon says they were establishing and reinforcing a fire line on one perimeter of the blaze.

At least two federal investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration were on the scene in Orofino, looking into the accident.

An investigation could take up to six months, says Labor Department spokeswoman Deanne Amaden in San Francisco.

(Associated Press)

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