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Wildfire scorches Wash. grasslands

Elaine Thompson / AP

A helicopter drops water taken from the adjacent Yakima River onto a wildfire by Highway 10 near Cle Elum, Wash. on Aug. 14, 2012. The fast-moving wildfire has burned 60 homes across nearly 40 square miles of central Washington grassland, timber and sagebrush. No injuries have been reported but more than 400 people have been forced to flee.

By NBC News and wire services - A fire in central Washington grew rapidly overnight and destroyed more than 60 homes, spurring the state's governor to declare an emergency in two counties, NBC station KING of Seattle reported. Read More

Elaine Thompson / AP

Neighbors try to hold back flames from a house at left near Cle Elum, Wash. on Aug. 14. Moments later a sudden wind sent flames racing toward the volunteers and about a dozen people safely scrambled out of the way. The house was saved when a water truck was able to quickly save the home.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Flames curl as a water truck douses fire away from a house in Bettas Road near Cle Elum, Wash. on Aug. 14.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Neighbors race up a hillside to hold back flames on Bettas Road near Cle Elum, Wash. on Aug. 14.

Elaine Thompson / AP

A woman sits on the remains of a home that was destroyed in a wildfire the night before in Bettas Road near Cle Elum, Wash. on Aug. 14.

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