Idaho evacuations ordered; Wash. residents go home
SEATTLE – Thunderstorms and lightning threatened fire officials' plans to contain a large blaze in central Washington state as hundreds of Washington and California residents returned home to find out whether their homes were spared.
In Idaho, authorities on Saturday issued a mandatory evacuation order for some 350 homes in the area around Featherville due to thick smoke. That town and the community of Pine, both recreation getaways in the mountains 105 miles northeast of Boise, remained in the path of a 130-square-mile wildfire that has been burning for two weeks.
Fire managers were concerned that poor visibility could hamper the evacuation process, fire spokesman David Eaker said. The smoke also prevented retardant bombers from reaching the fire and aerial reconnaissance flights from locating the fire's leading edge.
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