In dry, windy West, crews target flames in several states

A plane drops a load of fire retardant on the north side of Beacon Hill, Sunday, Aug 21, 2016, in Spokane, Wash. The fast moving wildfire is threatening structures as it moves in a north-easterly direction. (Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review, via AP)

The Associated Press

KALISPELL — Authorities say homes in a rural area east of Thompson Falls have been evacuated after a wildfire in northwestern Montana doubled in size in one day.

Fire officials say extreme fire behavior is also expected for the Copper King Fire on Monday, with wind gusts of up to 40 mph forecast to blow across the dry, hot terrain.

The Sanders County Sheriff's Office issued evacuation orders early Monday along Little Thompson River Road. Some 20 homes and structures are threatened, and other residents have been put on notice that the evacuation area may spread.

A shelter has been set up at Thompson Falls High School.

Some 317 firefighters are responding to the blaze, which grew 4 ½ square miles Sunday to nearly 11 square miles as of Monday morning.

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