Wildfire that destroyed 300 homes in north-central Washington now 60 percent contained

The Associated Press

SEATTLE — Officials said Saturday that firefighting crews are making progress against the state’s largest wildfire, with the 390-square-mile fire in the north-central part of the state now almost 60 percent contained.

On Friday, the estimate of homes burned in the Carlton Complex doubled from 150 to 300.

Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers and his deputies drove 750 miles of roadway through the blackened area to survey the devastation and arrive at the estimate.

“It’s every road. Every road lost something,” Rogers said.

“It looks like a moonscape; there’s nothing left.

“There’s hundreds of dead livestock. It’s horrifying.”

Progress fighting the fire comes just as temperatures begin to rise, with the possibility of triple-digit temperatures this week, which could increase fire activity, officials said.

Over the past few days, cooler weather and rain helped the firefighters contain the fire.

The lightning-caused Carlton Complex has eclipsed the 1902 Yacolt Burn, which killed 38 people and consumed about 373 square miles, or 238,920 acres, in southwest Washington.

The Carlton Complex has been blamed for the death of a man who appeared to suffer a heart attack while trying to protect his property.

On Friday, electricity was restored to most in towns in the scenic Methow Valley.

Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday extended a burn ban for the dry eastern part of the state for another week. The ban had been set to end Friday.

Meanwhile in Oregon, the nation’s largest wildfire — the 618-square-mile Buzzard Complex in eastern Oregon — is now at 95 percent contained, the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center reported Friday.

Last modified: July 26. 2014 7:12PM
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