Wildfires force evacuations in Washington State

Four fast-moving wildfires have forced the evacuations of homes, businesses and two state parks near a small town in central Washington state, authorities said Friday night.

Jim Duck of the Central Washington Interagency Communication Center said lightning strikes started the fires Friday morning near Chelan, a town of about 4,000 people.

“This is all happening right now so I don’t have a good idea of how many structures are threatened, but portions of the town are being evacuated now,” Duck said.

The fires knocked out power for 9,000 customers, the Chelan Public Utility said on Twitter. Among the businesses evacuated was the local Walmart.

“We are closing now because we have no power,” said Lisa Ekenbarger, supervisor at Starbucks in Chelan. “A lot of places in town have lost their power because of the fires.”

Alta Lake and Lake Chelan state parks were also evacuated, the state park system said on Twitter.

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