Wash. Residents Grab Hoses, Shovels to Fight Wildfire

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Firefighters are continuing to battle more than 60 fires raging in at least 14 states.

Hundreds of families are also at risk as a massive blaze burns out of control between two national forests in Washington state.

Residents in Cle Elum, Wash., are desperate. Some are even joining forces with firefighters, battling to save their homes.

"We just did the perimeter right in front of the Taylor barn. Now our job is to watch for hot spots that came along the fence," resident Mike Knee said.

"Everyone's taking care of each other," added Lacey Tipton, another resident. "We were here, there were shovels, so we helped."

Others nearby protected their homes with garden hoses, only resting once the danger had passed.

Strong winds and triple digit temperatures continue to fuel the blaze. Firefighters say the wildfire is only 10 percent contained with more than 28,000 acres burning.

Some 500 homes are currently threatened, and at least 70 have already been destroyed.

"I've been here for 25 years," fire victim Jack Cushing said. "We moved over from Belvue, and it hurts."

Almost 900 people have been evacuated, prompting Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire to declare a state of emergency for two counties.

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CBN News
Efrem Graham

Efrem Graham

News Anchor & Reporter

Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.