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August 20, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Leavenworth fire grows to 500 acres; 27 homes evacuated

A fire burning near Leavenworth in Chelan County grew to 500 acres Tuesday, and 27 homes were ordered evacuated, with another 38 to 40 being warned of possible evacuation.

The fire is zero percent contained, according to spokesman Mick Mueller. The weather in the area is expected to be hot and dry, with low winds until the weekend, so crews hope to move quickly and head it off before then. Mueller said the main challenge firefighters face is the “really tough, steep, rocky terrain” where the blaze is burning.

As of Tuesday night, more than 120 federal, state and local firefighters were at the scene fighting the blaze, and more will join the effort Wednesday morning, Mueller said.

Another fire burning outside The Dalles, Ore.,  in the Columbia River Gorge is believed to have burned a third home there, but fire crews also reported progress Tuesday in fighting the blaze that threatens several dozen other homes, a spokesman said.

The cost of fighting the Government Flat Complex fires has already topped $1 million.

Fire spokesman Dave Morman said late Tuesday he was getting reports that one additional residence has burned. Two homes and five other structures burned earlier.

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