Wildfires Rage through Western States

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Multiple wildfires are raging through the west, threatening homes, forcing evacuations, and burning up thousands of acres in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Nevada.

In northern California, two wildfires -- the Wye Fire and the Walker Fire -- burned out of control, charring a total of 5,000 acres by Monday evening, and forcing the evacuation of some 500 homes.

A fast-moving wildfire in central Washington also destroyed 40 homes on Tuesday, and has charred at least 23 square miles since it started Monday afternoon.

More homes were burning or threatened near the small town of Cle Elum, about 60 miles west of Seattle, but no injuries were reported so far.

In Idaho, a 20-year-old firefighter was killed as she worked a fire near Orofino, the U.S. Forest Service said. Anne Veseth was in her second season as a firefighter and was killed when she was struck by a falling tree.

"The Forest Service is devastated by the loss of one of our own," Forest Supervisor Rick Brazell said.

Another firefighter narrowly escaped a wildfire in southeastern Oregon.

That firefighter was forced to deploy her emergency shelter. She suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation before she and her 20-person team made it to a safety zone.

Thirty-four square miles of Utah forest were destroyed by a lightning-sparked fire. That blaze also threatened a herd of wild horses and shut down the Pony Express Road in the state's western desert.

The U.S. Forest Service says there are currently 59 large and uncontained fires burning across the nation, as the fire season approaches its late summer peak.

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