Colville reservation wildfire growing, prompting evacuations

KELLER, Wash. (AP) — A wildfire burning on the Colville Indian Reservation has grown to 28.1 square miles (72 square kilometers), prompting some mandatory evacuations.

The fire is burning about seven miles southeast of the town of Keller, Washington, and was started by lightning last Friday morning.

The Ferry County Sheriff's Office has issued mandatory evacuation notices for some residents in the sparcely-populated area.

Fire officials say crews had to temporarily suspend air operations on Tuesday when an unauthorized drone flew through a restricted area. The drone caused all firefighting aircraft, including helicopters and airplanes, to suspend operations until crews verified the drone had left the area.

The fire is 25 percent contained and no buildings have burned.

Firefighters are contending with temperatures approaching 100 degrees, along with steep slopes and rattlesnakes.