Sheriff: 3 firefighters killed in Washington state wildfire

95 Wildfires Rage Across the Northwest

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- Three firefighters have been killed and three to four more have been injured while battling raging wildfires, a sheriff in north-central Washington state said Wednesday.

Okanogan (oh-kah-NAH'-guhn) County Sheriff Frank Rogers said Wednesday evening that the deaths in a wildfire near the town of Twisp had been confirmed. He said he was not immediately releasing further details.

Gov. Jay Inslee also confirmed the deaths, saying his heart breaks over the loss of life and that conditions remain extremely dangerous.

Earlier Wednesday, authorities urged people in Twisp and nearby Winthrop to evacuate because of a fast-moving wildfire, one of many burning throughout the Northwest.

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Washington State wildfires August 2015
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Sheriff: 3 firefighters killed in Washington state wildfire
OMAK, WA - AUGUST 22: A makeshift fire truck puts water on a wildfire, which is part of the Okanogan Complex, as it burns through brush on August 22, 2015 near Omak, Washington. The fires have burned more tha 127,000 acres. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
OMAK, WA - AUGUST 23: A farmer mows alfalfa amid the smoke from the Okanagon Complex Wildfires on August 23, 2015 near Omak, Washington. More than 1,000 personnel are fighting the Okanagon Complex Fires which have burned more 239,000 acres. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
OKANOGAN, WA - AUGUST 22: Firefighters extinguish hotpots after a wildfire, part of the Okanogan Complex, swept through the area on August 22, 2015 near Okanogan, Washington. The Okanogan Complex fires have burned more than 127,000 acres. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
OMAK, WA - AUGUST 21: A wildfire, which is part of the Okanogan Complex, flares up on August 21, 2015 in the hills near Omak, Washington. The fires, which killed three firefighters and critically injured another, threaten homes and communities throughout the area. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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Firefighters have been bracing for high winds in the forecast through Friday that have threatened to stoke wildfires burning across Eastern Washington.

Wildfires burning in Okanogan County had already forced the evacuation of the small town of Conconully. Fire officials said the evacuation order for the town of about 200 people was issued Tuesday night.

Separately, the Chelan Complex of wildfires grew a bit Wednesday to 108.5 square miles, and continued to threaten the resort town of Chelan in central Washington.

Drought and heat have combined to make this fire season of the most active in the United States in recent years. Nearly 29,000 firefighters are battling some 100 large blazes across the West, including in Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington and California.

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