Highway 2 opened as fires still burn, power outages continue
As the Carlton complex continued to burn, Highway 2 through Tumwater Canyon reopened Thursday morning.
The Wenatchee World
LEAVENWORTH — Highway 2 through Tumwater Canyon reopened to traffic Thursday morning. A section of the highway had been closed because of fires in the area.
However, about 640 customers were still without power two weeks after the Carlton complex fires consumed homes and power poles. Some of those customers may have to wait another two weeks before electricity can be restored, the Okanogan County PUD said in a news release.
Initially, some 7,000 homes and businesses were without electricity — most for at least a week. The power lines to the larger population centers in Twisp, Winthrop, Brewster and Pateros were back in service after eight days.
Those still without power include about 210 customers outside Pateros, 181 between Pateros and Carlton, 96 between Brewster and Pateros, 71 outside Malott, and a few dozen outside Twisp and Brewster. Updates will be posted at okanoganpud.org.
The Carlton complex fires continued to burn Thursday, mostly within the existing perimeter, according to Inciweb, an interagency website that provides wildfire information. Thursday, the site said the fire had grown by 673 acres to 251,698 acres or about 393 square miles.
In Okanogan, an emergency operations center set up to help victims of the Carlton complex fires was scheduled to close at 5 p.m. Friday.
Anyone with losses, whether insured or uninsured, was being asked to call before then. The information will help emergency officials calculate losses and determine the county’s eligibility for support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said an emergency declaration was declared for the county’s electricity needs. He said thresholds must still be met before the federal government can provide assistance to other public resources used during the fire, or to help private property owners with losses.
The emergency center can be reached Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 509-422-2422, 509-422-2428, 509-422-2408 or 509-422-2420.
Seattle Times staff contributed to this report.