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Wild fire destroys 3 homes west of Yakima

COWICHE, Wash. (AP) — Fire officials say a wildfire in central Washington state has destroyed three homes and burned 8,500 acres.

The fire, about 10 miles west-northwest of Yakima, started Sunday afternoon.

As of nightfall on Sunday, as many as 100 other homes were threatened, according to the Yakima Herald-Republic website.

Heavy winds were pushing the blaze toward an unknown number of homes.

The fire earliler on Sunday was estimated to be burning on 3,000 acres and had sent a big plume of smoke over Yakima.

One fire engine was burned.

Three firefighters were taken to a local hospital with minor injuries, mostly smoke inhalation.

Firefighters were going door to door evacuating residents.

About 100 firefighters had responded to the blaze by Sunday evening, and it was hoped that another 150 would arrive today.

The fire apparently started along Cowiche Mill Road across from the Cowiche Nursery near the Cowiche Canyon. Winds pushed the fire to the southwest over a ridge and into the West Valley area of Yakima.

Winds were blowing at about 20 to 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph, according to the Herald-Republic report this morning.

When the fire came over the hill, it quickly engulfed an engine and sent three firefighters to an area hospital with smoke inhalation. Emergency shelters were not deployed.

Residents had to round up horses and belongings to flee the fire, the newspaper website said.

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