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Crews close to containing fire near Yosemite

/ Source: The Associated Press

Firefighters were getting closer to containing a 53-square-mile wildfire that had destroyed more than 20 homes in the mountains outside Yosemite National Park, firefighters said Saturday.

The blaze was about 80 percent contained Saturday morning and all evacuation orders had been lifted.

Firefighters were focused on building fire lines on the blaze's north flank and said they didn't expect it to grow much more.

The fire had destroyed 21 homes, forced the evacuation of 350 other houses and spread a smoky haze over the national park since it was sparked by a target shooter last week.

Wildfire charred more acreage already this year in California than in any other year since the 1930s, when the state began compiling statistics, state fire officials said.

Washington state blaze
Elsewhere on Saturday, a wildfire in northcentral Washington had blackened more than 3 square miles of timber and rangeland near Omak.

An evacuation order for eight homes remained in effect Saturday morning, said a spokeswoman at firefighting headquarters, Koshare Lomnicki.

Lomnicki said the fire subsided during the night as the wind dropped, and a breeze of only 3 to 8 mph was forecast for Saturday.

The cause of the Washington fire, which started Thursday, remained under investigation.