A fire racing through rural north-central Washington has destroyed about 100 homes, leaving behind smoldering rubble and burned-out automobiles. The Okanagan County town of Pateros was hit especially hard. Most of the 650 residents evacuated in advance of the flames, and some returned Friday to see if anything was left of their houses. There were no reports of injuries.
A complex of fires has blackened 260 square miles.
Gov. Jay Inslee says some 2,000 firefighters are working in the eastern part of the state, with about a dozen helicopters from the Department of Natural Resources and the National Guard, along with a Washington State Patrol spotter plane.
Inslee says that the state is rapidly training about 1,000 additional National Guard troops and active duty military could be called in as well.
Gov. Jay Inslee was flying to Wenatchee Friday afternoon before meeting with officials at the Chiwaukum incident command post. He was then to head to a Red Cross shelter in Chelan to meet with people who have been evacuated. Joining Inslee are Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste, Major General Bret Daugherty, and State Emergency Management Director Robert Ezelle.
At a press conference at his office earlier, Inslee said multiple agencies are involved in the battle against multiple fires, and that there are currently about 2,000 firefighters on the ground in eastern Washington, along with a dozen helicopters.
He said that the state is rapidly training about 1,000 additional National Guard troops, and that potentially, active duty military could be called in to help as well.
Inslee spokesman David Postman said that more than 202,000 acres have burned so far.
PATEROS, Wash. (AP) -July 18, 2014
IMAGE- US 97 at milepost 275, just north of the junction of US 97 & SR 17 IMAGE from WSDOT