OLYMPIA, Wash. -

A state of emergency has been declared in 20 Eastern Washington counties because of multiple wildfires that threaten several hundred homes.

The declaration allows officials to get help from the Washington National Guard and the State Guard if needed. It also directs state agencies to help local governments in responding to wildfires.

State officials are worried extreme fire weather conditions and the lack of firefighting resources in the Northwest could hamper future firefighting efforts in the state.

The state's largest wildfire, the Mills Canyon blaze near the town of Entiat, is now 40 percent contained and holding steady at about 35 square miles.

Lt. Gov. Brad Owen signed the emergency proclamation late Tuesday.