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Lightning sparks 12 fires near Wenatchee

UPDATED: Sun., Sept. 9, 2012, 5:38 p.m.

The Wenatchee River Ranger District has reported 12 fires started by lightning overnight Sunday. Most of the fires are in the lower Wenatchee Valley but some are also near Lake Wenatchee, according to a U.S. Forest Service press release.

The fire considered a priority is the Canyons Fire located in the Number One Canyon area. As of Sunday evening the fire had spread to 250 acres and the Washington State Patrol had authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources.

The fire was growing fast and residents of nearly 200 homes had been advised to evacuate, according to a Washington State Patrol press release.

Fire crews are also battling the Williams Fire, located inside the old Fischer Fire area north of Dryden, the press release said. That fire was at 60 acres and nearly contained Sunday morning according to the Forest Service release.

Other fires are burning in Judge Canyon, in the Twin Peaks area and in the Devils Gulch area. The trails near Devils Gulch, a popular recreation area, have been closed.

The Methow Valley Ranger District in Okanogan County has five lightning sparked fires. As of Sunday evening the largest was 30 acres in size and on the ridge between McFarland and Squaw Creeks. The 15 acre Buckhorn Fire on Gold Creek Ridge was being fought by two 20-person crews, according to the Forest Service. Other fires were burning south of the Leecher Lookout, near Sandy Butte and near Buck Mountain.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for high fire danger in much of Central and Eastern Washington and parts of North Idaho today and Monday. “A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, warm temperatures and dry lightning will create explosive fire growth potential,” the warning said.