Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published July 25, 2014 at 9:26 PM | Page modified July 26, 2014 at 12:27 AM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments
  • Print

Fire’s updated toll: 300 homes, ‘horrifying’ devastation

About 300 homes — twice as many as previously estimated — have burned in the largest recorded wildfire in Washington state history, a county sheriff said Friday after visiting the burned areas. “It looks like a moonscape,” he said.


Seattle Times staff and news services

Red Cross fire aid

In addition to shelters and mobile kitchens, assistance is available from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at two client service centers:

• Methow Valley Community Center, 201 Methow Valley Highway, Twisp

• Pateros High School, 344 W. Beach St., Pateros

How to help: The Red Cross is accepting money, but not donated items. Send checks to the Red Cross Apple Valley Chapter, 12 Orondo Ave., Wenatchee, WA 98801, or donate online at www.redcross.org

Reader Comments
Hide / Show comments
Except for the loss of buildings and other products of human intrusion into these areas, there are no good reasons to... MORE
Kind of sad isn't it? But it pales in significance to the loss of pot, right? On Thursday, July 24, 2014 the Times had... MORE

advertising

TWISP, Okanogan County — About 300 homes — twice as many as previously estimated — have burned in the largest recorded wildfire in Washington state history, a county sheriff said Friday.

Officials had placed the number of homes destroyed at 150 in north-central Washington’s Carlton complex fire. But Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said he knew that figure would rise because crews hadn’t been able to reach some of the burned areas.

The updated estimate came after Rogers and his deputies drove 750 miles of roadway through the blackened area, surveying the devastation.

“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.”

At nearly 400 square miles, or 256,000 acres, the lightning-caused Carlton complex has eclipsed the 1902 Yacolt Burn, which killed 38 people and consumed about 373 square miles, or 238,720 acres, in Southwest Washington. The Carlton complex has been blamed for one death — a man who appeared to suffer a heart attack while trying to protect his property.

The Red Cross still has three shelters open for people who lost homes to the fire, but only 13 people are using them, according to Nicolle LaFleur, executive director for the Apple Valley and North Cascade Red Cross Chapter. Many others are staying with family, she said.

The Red Cross is focused on long-term recovery for people affected by the wildfires and has opened two client-service centers, where caseworkers, including Spanish speakers, will help people assess the damage and come up with a recovery plan.

The Red Cross is providing disaster mental-health workers at both its shelters and service centers. LaFleur said it also has mobile kitchens in Brewster, Carlton, Methow and Pateros.

“We need to keep in mind we have a long way to go,” LaFleur said. “We are just starting the recovery phase of this disaster, and we are still only halfway through the fire season.”

Fire crews have reported good progress in the past few days, with cooler weather and rain helping to get the fire slightly more than half contained. But officials were concerned that hotter, drier weather and wind gusts in the forecast could increase fire activity.

The fire has been burning in the scenic Methow Valley, a popular area for hiking and fishing about 180 miles northeast of Seattle. The fire destroyed 30 homes in the town of Pateros, one of the worst-hit areas. Another 52 homes burned in the nearby golf community of Alta Lake.

Power was finally restored to parts of the valley, including Twisp and Winthrop, on Friday, eight days after the fire burned two key utility lines. But many people in outlying areas remained without electricity, Rogers said.

Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday extended a burn ban for dry Eastern Washington for one more week. The ban had been set to end Friday.

“While fire crews have made significant progress over the past week in bringing the fires under control, weather conditions are still a concern and we need to continue erring on the side of safety,” Inslee said. “Resources are still stretched thin and we want everything we have focused on containing the remaining fires and helping impacted families.”

He also said that the state would waive permit requirements for anyone in the affected areas who wants to use extra-large generators because they remain without power.

Material from The Associated Press and Seattle Times reporter Zahra Farah was used in this report.



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

Also in Local News

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Seattle Sketcher Book

Seattle Sketcher Book

Take home the Seattle Sketcher's latest book! Available now.

Advertising

Partner Video

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►