Fire season in West extends, evacuations ordered

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by Laura Matovina

WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) -- Firefighters in central Washington and Wyoming are working to protect homes from wildfires burning across the West.

But winds and temperatures remain high in parts of the region. The National Weather Service has issued red-flag warnings for parts of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, and all of Wyoming, meaning conditions could exacerbate the fires.

Authorities 10 miles southeast of Casper, Wyo. have evacuated some 500 people in homes and cabins. They say at least six structures have burned.

Two Wyoming Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, each with 600-gallon buckets, have been activated to dump water on the fire.

Wyoming officials say about 1,000 residents less than two miles south of Jackson should be able to get through the night without any evacuations, but should still keep their bags packed.

In western Montana, residents of about 350 homes threatened by a wildfire west of Hamilton were told to leave Monday.