The Okanogan fire had grown to more than 250,000 acres (104,000 hectares) yesterday, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), which said the blaze was only 10 percent contained.

Three firefighters were killed battling a portion of the Okanogan fire last week and 1,250 people are currently helping quell the blaze.

Statewide, 16 large wildfires have ravaged 600,000 acres, destroyed 200 homes and are threatening another 12,000 residences, according to a statement from Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

That combined damage makes the current fires "certainly the most severe in terms of timing of multiple large fires simultaneously," Jaime Smith, the governor's spokeswoman, said yesterday.
President Barack Obama has approved Inslee's request for a federal declaration of emergency, which releases federal funds to help the state pay for the cost of fighting the blazes.

The Okanogan fire alone has already cost USD 8.5 million to date, the NIFC said yesterday.

Seven hundred members of the Washington National Guard were added to the state-wide firefighting effort Sunday and helicopters from surrounding states were brought in to help.

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