Washington state wildfire destroys 100 homes, hundreds evacuated

Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:33pm EDT

1 of 6. A mailbox stands in a scorched countryside that was hit by the Carlton Complex fire near Pateros, Washington July 19, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/David Ryder

Related Topics

(Reuters) - A wildfire raging east of Washington state's Cascade Mountains has destroyed about 100 homes and displaced hundreds of people, an emergency official said on Saturday, with cooler weather not expected to provide relief for another day.

The four-blaze Carlton Complex fire destroyed homes in and around the town of Pateros, about 120 miles (193 kms) northeast of Seattle, said Mark Clemens, a spokesman for the Washington Emergency Management Division.

The town's 650 people were under mandatory evacuation orders, though some began returning on Friday to survey the charred remains of their homes and belongings.

"Today is still a little bit dicey," Clemens said.

He said temperatures were not expected to drop or humidity rise until Sunday to help the 625 firefighters battling the blaze which has whipped through areas of timber and grass.

The Carlton Complex fire was triggered by lightning strikes on Monday. It has since burned more than 100,000 acres (40,500 hectares) of parched vegetation.

The fire is among more than two dozen burning from southern California to Idaho as drought-parched Western states enter their annual fire season.

The biggest fire, the lightning-sparked Buzzard Complex, has burned about 368,000 acres of rangeland in eastern Oregon and is about a fifth contained, said Rita Dyer, a fire spokeswoman.

Both Washington and Oregon have declared states of emergency as wildfires scorched thousands of acres, destroying homes, outbuildings and crops.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Sophie Hares)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (2)
carlmartel wrote:
Severe drought affects Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon, Idaho, and Washington. Excessive heat affects southern California and Arizona. Wildfires are going to be dangerous in the western US.

Jul 19, 2014 2:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Regular wrote:
Beware of these ‘wild’ fires happening close to homes and residences. This must be done by big real-estate land poachers.

Jul 19, 2014 3:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

A tourist takes a plunge as she swims at Ngapali Beach, a popular tourist site, in the Thandwe township of the Rakhine state, October 6, 2013. Picture taken October 6, 2013. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun (MYANMAR - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTR3FOI0

Where do you want to go?

We look at when to take trips, budget considerations and the popularity of multigenerational family travel.   Video