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July 31, 2014 at 6:23 PM

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The Omak fire camp


Fresh off a 16-hour shift fighting the Carlton Complex fire, Tanner Baker of Helena, Montana and other crew members line up for dinner at the Omak fire camp before heading to their tents for rest. Eight-hours later they'll be heading back to the fire line.

The Omak fire camp, an instant but temporary town, houses the almost 900 firefighters combating the eastern side of the Carlton Complex wildfire.

The camp opened July 20.

With hundreds of tents, showers and a kitchen that prepares 3,000 meals a day, it was relocated Thursday from the Omak Stampede grounds to nearby Okanogan Fairgrounds without an interruption in services.

Crews that left in the morning for another 12- to 16-hour shift returned to the new camp for a hot meal and eight hours off before another round of firefighting.

Temperature in camp was 106 degrees earlier this week -- 11 degrees hotter than on the fire line.

Though the temperatures have been scorching, light winds have helped with the effort. The fire is two-thirds contained.


This neighborhood in Pateros at the corner of Ives and Dawson Streets was totally devastated by the Carlton Complex fire.


Inmates, called "offenders," dig out the smoldering root system of a tree to prevent future flare up near Carlton. They're from Larch Camp minimum security facility in southwest Washington. Two ten-man crews under DNR supervision are working this line. All had to attend and pass training for the work.

For more photos, visit the gallery.

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