THORP, Wash. (AP) – Firefighters let about 100 people return to their homes after making progress Sunday against a central Washington wildfire believed to have been set by a serial arsonist.

The fire, which started Friday, had been estimated at 600 acres but better mapping Sunday night showed it at 370 acres with 50 percent containment, said Cindy Reichelt, an incident information officer. Residents returned on Sunday.

“Everything’s looking up,” said Troy Kinghorn, a fire spokesman.

It was the 11th fire started by a firebug in central Washington’s Kittitas County in the past two months. It had burned two homes, a workshop and a bridge.

No injuries were reported.

Elsewhere in central Washington, a group of three fires west of Lake Chelan burned Sunday, growing to 38,060 acres. The lightning-caused fires burned two recreational buildings and at one point threatened the community of Stehekin.

In southwestern Utah, two wildfires were slowed by a morning rain storm, but had burned nearly 40,000 acres by Sunday.

“What’s driving it is the dry fuels out there. The pinon juniper is just being consumed,” said Maggie Dowd, a fire information officer. “It’s just so dry.”

AP-ES-08-02-04 0116EDT



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