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Washington Wildfires Prompt Evacuation Warnings

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Smoke from a wildfire near White Salmon, Wash., is visible from the Columbia River near Cascade Locks, Ore., Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. | AP

WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) — Lightning strikes sparked dozens of fires in central Washington state, with officials near Wenatchee calling for the evacuation of scores of homes.

Police Sgt. John Kruse said late Sunday night that residents of about 180 homes in foothills just west of the city have been urged to evacuate.

Kruse, the fire incident command spokesman, says 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. Kruse says teams will battle the Canyons Fire through the night.

Meanwhile, firefighters are continuing to fight the state's largest blaze, the 1,614-acre White Salmon fire, which is 50 percent contained.

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