CLE ELUM, Wash. - Officials are slowly winding down firefighting operations as full containment of a wildfire that destroyed dozens of homes in central Washington is expected Wednesday.
Fire management spokesman Mark Morrow said Friday that firefighters have pinned the fire to a small drainage area on the north side of the Taylor Bridge fire and are working in rugged terrain to establishment a containment line.
Morrow says the number of firefighters working the blaze will be reduced from about 600 to 400 by the end of Friday and even further Saturday, as the fire becomes less active.
The fire east of Cle Elum was 91 percent contained by Friday morning. It has burned more than 36 square miles, or 23,500 acres, about 75 miles east of Seattle.
Authorities have confirmed 61 homes and 35 outbuildings were destroyed and about seven other properties were damaged.
The fire started Aug. 13 near a bridge construction site, though the exact cause remains under investigation.