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Wildfires rage in the western U.S.


Rob Marciano, CNN
August 16, 2012 — Dozens of wildfires are charring large sections of the Western part of the country. Among the worst is the Taylor Bridge Fire in central Washington state. Here's the latest on efforts to get the massive blaze under control.


Fire rages in Washington (August 14)
Fire rages in Washington (August 14)

Here in Cle Elum, Washington, just outside the fire lines of this 23-thousand-acre fire, this command center has more personnel and more equipment today than it did two days ago.

They are ramping up their effort.
Twenty-five percent containment -- thanks, in part, because the winds laid down yesterday. But that wasn't the case Monday night, when sparks flew off a construction site and blew those flames across this town, destroying over 60 homes-- not only in town, but on the outskirts of town, where there is some more rural activity in the form of some barns that were burnt.

Livestock, animals are fleeing for cover. And, right now, 450 families have been evacuated. No word when they'll be allowed to go back.
They may be able to take a peek tomorrow, but that's about it.

Still a dangerous situation here in central Washington. One of the worst fires that they've seen in decades.

This isn't the only problem. Outside of here, across several states in the west, including California, from southern California in San Diego, San Bernardino, up through Lake County, just north of Napa, California fires continue to burn brightly. And the heat that caused some of those fires is now in western Washington and Oregon.

Excessive heat warnings are out for this part of the country and low levels of humidity. So, that's what firefighters are going to have to contend with later on today. 

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