Crews fight wildfires in Washington state

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UNDATED (AP) -- Washington state is sending firefighters and equipment to help local crews fight wildfires burning in the southern and southeast parts of the state.

About 40 firefighters and several helicopters were dispatched Monday to help Klickitat County crews fighting the 700-acre Wishram 2 fire near the Columbia Gorge in southern Washington. Deputy State Fire Marshal Ron Bowen says about 40 residences are threatened by that fire, blamed on a downed electrical wire. Transportation officials say it has prompted the closure of an 18-mile stretch of Washington Highway 14.

Another 40 firefighters, more than three dozen engines and a management team were dispatched Monday to Pomeroy to help Garfield County firefighters battle wildfires that have burned an estimated 5,000 acres of grassland in southeast Washington. Bowen says those fires were started Sunday night by lightning strikes. There was no immediate danger to homes or other structures.