Crews make progress in calming US wildfire

2014-07-20 22:28

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Seattle - A massive wildfire raging east of Washington state's Cascade Mountains showed some sign of calming on Sunday, with fire crews saying they had slowed the expansion of a wind-whipped blaze that destroyed about 100 homes and displaced hundreds of people.

The Carlton Complex blaze did not grow overnight, the first time since the fire was triggered by lightning strikes six days ago that it showed any sign of abatement, local officials said.

By early Sunday, the fire was still burning over 113 311ha in Washington's Methow Valley, about 195km northeast of Seattle, but its perimeters were not expanding.

"It seems to be calming down a whole lot," said Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers. "The weather is definitely a help. It's cooled down a whole lot. It's also burning out in some areas."

Ten people remained unaccounted for as of Sunday, though Rogers said that could reflect outages of phone service. No major injuries had been reported.

The blaze has scorched at least 870km² of dry timber and grasslands in north-central Washington since Monday, destroying about 100 homes and forcing hundreds of people to evacuate in several towns and rural areas.

The wildfire was one of about 18 burning across the Pacific Northwest, from northern California to Idaho, amid drought-like conditions that have made the region's annual fire season more active than usual. The governors of Oregon and Washington each declared fire emergencies last week.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee was due on Sunday to tour some of the affected areas, including the towns of Omak and Malott, which was under a second day of evacuation orders.

In the town of Pateros, home to about 650 people, about homes and dwellings were destroyed and many others left badly damaged or uninhabitable, emergency management officials said.

Rogers said that if conditions continued to improve on Sunday, some evacuation orders would be lifted across the region, home to about 10 000 people. Many area residents were likely to return to homes without electricity as a result of the fire knocking out power lines across the region.

The region's biggest fire, the lightning-sparked Buzzard Complex, has burned about 127 476ha in eastern Oregon and residents in the largely rural area on Sunday were experiencing heavy smoke conditions.

Read more on:    us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.