Lightning Sparks 70+ Wildfires in Wash. State
Officials call on 180 homes to evacuate
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 10, 2012 9:20 AM CDT
Tracy Summers of Toledo, Wash. monitors the scene above Hidden Valley Ranch where fire crews worked to halt progression of the Taylor Bridge Fire last month.   (AP Photo/seattlepi.com, Joshua Trujillo)

(Newser) – Lightning strikes sparked dozens of fires in central Washington state, with officials near Wenatchee calling for the evacuation of scores of homes. Residents of about 180 homes in foothills just west of the city have been urged to evacuate, police said late last night. A spokesman said the 500-acre blaze known as the Canyons Fire probably isn't the largest of the new blazes, but is nearest to an urban area.

Fire officials say severe storms that moved through the region east of the Cascades late Saturday sparked 70 to 80 wildfires. So far there have been no injuries and just one outbuilding has been destroyed. Officials say fire crews from across the state are mobilizing. Teams will battle the Canyons Fire through the night, police say. Meanwhile, firefighters are continuing to fight the state's largest blaze, the 1,614-acre White Salmon fire, which is 50% contained.