Evacuated residents return at Washington wildfire

Aug 17, 2012

CLE ELUM, Wash. — Many of the residents who had to run for their lives from a central Washington wildfire are being allowed back into the evacuation area Friday to see whether their homes are still standing.

A spokesman at the fire command center in Cle Elum, Mick Mueller, says residents are returning to the south and east side of the 35-square mile burn zone.

He says utility crews also are working to restore power in the area, even as firefighters continue to put out hot spots.

About 900 firefighters with eight helicopters continue building a line around the fire, which is about one-third contained.

The fire broke out Monday at a bridge construction project and burned about 70 homes on the east side of the Cascades, about 75 miles east of Seattle.