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Fires burning near Omak, Coulee Dam

Sat., Aug. 2, 2008

OMAK, Wash. – A wildfire in north-central Washington near Omak has burned 1,000 acres and threatened about 50 homes, while a second blaze blackened at least 1,000 acres near Coulee Dam.

The Washington State Patrol said the Smith Lake fire, about five miles west of Coulee Dam near state Route 174, threatened about 12 homes Friday afternoon, and about 24 people evacuated under a Stage 3 evacuation order, the highest level.

At the Omak-area fire, state Department of Natural Resources spokesman Bernie Jones said some residents were warned they might have to leave if the fire grows, but no mandatory evacuations were issued.

Jones said a handful of people have left on their own.

No structures have been lost and no one has been injured.

The Omak fire broke out about 5 p.m. Thursday, reportedly in a pump house, but the cause is still under investigation. About 180 firefighters are on the scene about seven miles northwest of Omak.

The Smith Lake fire was reported at 9:42 a.m. Its cause was not immediately known.


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