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Updated: Highway 17 closed because of fire; shelter being set up

UPDATE: At 4:24 p.m., Douglas County Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal said the American Red Cross is setting up a shelter at Bridgeport High School for people evacuated from the fire on Highway 17.

The shelter should be operational in about three hours.

UPDATE: As of 2:59 p.m., Level 3 evacuation notices are being issued for homes east of Road K Northeast and south of Highway 17, said Douglas County Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal.

The fire is still being pushed by strong wind.

UPDATE: A level 1 evacuation notice has been issued for a three-mile radius around the fire, which is burning on both sides of Highway 17 between Hays Road and Road K Northeast.

The blaze was spotted around 1 p.m. today, Aug. 4, by a Douglas County deputy on routine patrol. The brush fire is being pushed by strong winds, said Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal.

LEAHY JUNCTION – Highway 17 is closed 19 miles west of Coulee Dam at milepost 120, Leahy Junction, to milepost 133 at the Mansfield turnoff because of a fire.

There is no estimated time of reopening, said the state Department of Transportation. A detour is available.

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