Firefighters rest as their colleague continues to battle flames that burned through the night at a commercial building that was ignited by the Sleepy Hollow fire in Wenatchee, Washington June 29, 2015. 
Photo by David Ryder/Reuters

Washington wildfire burns 3,000 acres, destroys two dozen homes

A fast-moving Washington wildfire that jumped from roof to roof to consume as many as two dozen homes is now partially contained, authorities said Monday, but parts of Wenatchee continue to burn.

The Sleepy Hollow Fire in Wenatchee — about 140 miles east of Seattle — sparked Sunday afternoon and rapidly spread to 3,000 acres, Washington State Fire Marshall spokesman Bill Slosson said. Evacuation orders were in place for several hundred homes in the path of the fire.

Dry conditions and gusting winds fed the blaze, which consumed a cardboard recycling facility. One ember flew through the window of a firefighter’s car, burning part of his back seat, authorities said. A rain shower helped slow the blaze Monday morning.

Firefighters went from door to door to urge residents to evacuate. Just over 200 residents took shelter at the Red Cross set up at Eastmont High School Sunday night.

Maribeth Marboe was given 30 minutes to evacuate her home on Maiden Lane on Sunday night. With the help of neighbors and family, she grabbed all the photos and all the files from her office and fled the neighborhood where she’d lived for 17 years.

Her husband Scott, son Michell and friends stayed back a bit longer to battle the fire, but they were forced to flee after about 40 minutes.

And her home? “It’s completely gone,” she told NBC News on Monday, along with about a dozen more in her area known as Broadview.

The destruction happened so quickly. The area is known for the dry brush and has been threatened by wildfires in the past.

On Sunday, Marboe arrived at her home at 2:30 and saw a fire on a hill in the distance. She described how she called 911 and was told not to worry, that it was too far away to worry about. “But the wind shifted and the police were out here, said it was Level 3, and to get out now.”

Officials are still trying to determine what sparked the fire. The Northwest has experienced a stretch of arid weather and is expected to suffer from torrid heat well into July, the Weather Channel reported, raising the specter of an earlier and more dangerous fire season.

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Washington wildfire burns 3,000 acres, destroys two dozen homes