Crews Battle Blazes in Central Calif., Washington and Wyoming

SAN SIMEON, Calif. (AP) -
A helicopter flies past Hearst Castle on its way to fight a wildfire in San Simeon, Calif., on Saturday. (Joe Johnston/The Tribune (of San Luis Obispo) via AP)
A helicopter flies past Hearst Castle on its way to fight a wildfire in San Simeon, Calif., on Saturday. (Joe Johnston/The Tribune (of San Luis Obispo) via AP)

Growing wildfires fed by windy, dry conditions have destroyed buildings and forced evacuations in central California and eastern Washington.

Crews in both states fought to contain the blazes Monday, with firefighters making headway in the Golden State while authorities tried to determine the number of homes lost in the Northwest.

Several fires are also burning in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

Here’s a look at major wildfires in the West:

CALIFORNIA

A growing wildfire in central California had charred nearly 50 square miles by Monday, while a destructive blaze in Southern California was mostly under control.

The blaze in San Luis Obispo County was threatening houses and only partially contained, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

Residents of mostly rural homes near Lake Nacimiento were ordered to leave late Sunday. Several other nearby communities have been under evacuation orders for days.

The famed Hearst Castle was closed over the weekend, though officials said the fire was growing in the opposite direction of the popular tourist attraction built by media magnate William Randolph Hearst.

Meanwhile, a 58-square-mile fire that destroyed 105 homes in Southern California was almost entirely contained and all evacuation orders were lifted.

A plane drops a load of fire retardant on the north side of Beacon Hill, in Spokane, Wash., on Sunday. (Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review, via AP)
A plane drops a load of fire retardant on the north side of Beacon Hill, in Spokane, Wash., on Sunday. (Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review, via AP)

WASHINGTON

Wildfires in the Spokane area have burned more than a dozen homes and forced evacuations.

One blaze west of the eastern Washington city had destroyed at least six homes and scorched more than nine square miles by Monday morning, the Department of Natural Resources said.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said 11 structures were destroyed near the town of Davenport, a figure that includes homes, garages and outbuildings.

Another wildfire, south of Spokane near the town of Spangle, destroyed at least 10 homes and numerous other buildings Sunday, according to the Washington State Patrol.

People in the small community of Wellpinit on the Spokane Indian Reservation have been told to evacuate. The town also lost power, making the battle by firefighters more difficult.

A fire truck moves along Hwy 125 past a blazing stack of hay bales north of Walla Walla, Wash., during a large wildfire on Sunday night..Firefighters from several districts were able to stop the blaze at Hwy 125. The fire, whose cause in under investigation, burned about 15,000 acres in very high winds and was contained about 11:00 p.m.. (Greg Lehman/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin via AP)
A fire truck moves along Hwy 125 past a blazing stack of hay bales north of Walla Walla, Wash., during a large wildfire on Sunday night..Firefighters from several districts were able to stop the blaze at Hwy 125. The fire, whose cause in under investigation, burned about 15,000 acres in very high winds and was contained about 11:00 p.m.. (Greg Lehman/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin via AP)

WYOMING

The largest fire in Yellowstone National Park in northwest Wyoming grew to about 35 square miles amid windy, warm weather, but tourists could still visit the popular park during the busy summer season.

All the park’s main tourist facilities and roads were open Monday, although the fire was creeping toward a key road linking the West Entrance with the park’s interior.

The blaze has charred mostly remote forest between West Yellowstone, Montana, a border town just outside the park’s western boundary, and the Madison Junction recreational area within the park.

The flames expanded by nearly 10 square miles Sunday. It’s one of four fires burning in Yellowstone, and warm, windy weather was expected again Monday.