DAYTON, Wash. -- Nursing home residents were evacuated because of smoke from a wildfire, one of several started by lightning from thunderstorms that rolled across the Northwest.
Firefighters also faced new fires in Idaho and Oregon.
More than 75 firefighters were assigned yesterday to the blaze outside Dayton, which had raced across 2,500 acres -- nearly 4 square miles ok -- of trees, brush, and wheat fields since being ignited late Monday, said Ted Paterson, information officer for the Columbia County Emergency Operations Center.
South of Dayton, about 80 residents along the Touchet River in eastern Washington were urged to evacuate, and 35 residents of a nursing home were relocated because of concern about the smoke, Paterson said.
No structures had burned, and no injuries were reported.
The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center in Portland, Ore., positioned fire crews throughout Washington and Oregon as a precaution because of the dry, windy weather moving in behind Monday's storms, said Vladimir Steblina, spokesman for the Okanogan and Wenatchee national forests.
``Everybody is kind of waiting on pins and needles ," he said.
The largest group of fires in Washington had blackened more than 180 square miles of forest between the north-central towns of Winthrop and Conconully since being started by lightning in July. Firefighters said those fires were 40 percent contained yesterday.
Among the new fires in central and eastern Oregon, one was threatening the small town of Fields. Authorities said it was burning aggressively, but residents remained in their homes.
Firefighting resources in Oregon are stretched thin.
``For us, that means we won't be receiving much outside help and will have to do the best we can with what we have," said Jonathan Manski, a firefighters' spokesman.
Lightning started a dozen fires late Monday in Idaho's Boise National Forest, including a 300-acre blaze that prompted the evacuation of public hot springs and a campground, authorities reported yesterday. Meanwhile, a fire 8 miles west of Silver City that was started by lightning Monday grew to 10,000 acres.
Elsewhere, crews in western Texas were still trying to contain a wildfire that had blackened about 7,500 acres since it began Friday.