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In brief: Six homes lost in fire south of Lewiston

The Big Cougar fire south of Lewiston has grown to an estimated 86 square miles and is 20 percent contained, said Jill Cobb, spokeswoman for the incident management team assisting the firefighting efforts.

Six homes have been burned so far, one along the Salmon River and five along the Snake River, Cobb said. Nearly 450 people are fighting the fire.

The Nez Perce County sheriff has asked residents along the north side of the Salmon River from the Snake River to an oxbow about 9 miles upstream to evacuate, according to a news release. Some other residents have been told to prepare to leave.

Cobb said firefighters have been able to slow the fire’s progress on the north side, but it is still growing on the south end. It is about 25 miles south of Lewiston.

Megaload to travel on Idaho highways

A megaload shipment is expected to delay traffic on U.S. Highway 95 and Idaho’s Highway 200 starting Sunday night.

The Idaho Transportation Department has issued a permit to Bigge Crane, allowing its megaload on those highways between 10 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. The shipment is about 21 feet wide, 17 feet tall, 311 feet long and weighs about 1 million pounds.

The load will enter Idaho near Lewiston, traveling north on Highway 95 to Sandpoint, then turning east on Highway 200 to Montana. It will be the largest load ever to travel on Highway 200, said Adam Rush, an ITD spokesman.

As much as possible, delays to other vehicles will be limited to 15 minutes, officials said.

The Idaho State Police will accompany the shipment.

Missing girl’s death ruled homicide

SEATTLE – An autopsy has confirmed a body found in the woods near a mobile home park where a Washington girl went missing was that of 6-year-old Jenise Wright, authorities said Friday

The coroner also ruled the death a homicide, said Earl Smith, incident commander for the Kitsap County sheriff’s office. No exact cause of death was immediately released.

Sheriff’s office spokesman Scott Wilson said earlier Friday that the wooded area where an FBI team found the body contained thick brush and likely was muddy. He said the person responsible for the girl’s disappearance likely would have been covered in mud.

Meanwhile, Wilson said, authorities are collecting DNA cheek swabs from dozens of residents who volunteer them in the Bremerton-area mobile home park where Jenise lived.

Jenise disappeared over the weekend, and her body was found Thursday in woods near the trailer park.

Jenise Wright’s father, James Wright, was charged more than a decade ago with molesting two girls, ages 8 and 15, court records show.

Wright pleaded guilty and received a one-year suspended jail sentence to a misdemeanor assault related to the older girl.