Fire crews gain ground against Central California wildfire that forced

Winds are expected to calm significantly.


Fire officials say a complex of wildfires burning in north-central Washington has grown to cover 374 square miles. Almost 30,000 firefighters and support staff were battling blazes across a handful of mainly western US states, officials said August 18, after millions of acres and multiple buildings have burned. The fire is 38 percent contained.

“That’ll take weeks”, Rogers said.

“There are fires that are going on around us”, he said.

Near the Idaho border, residents of about 50 homes have been ordered to leave and those in neighboring areas were told to get ready to flee.

It is one of 15 wildfires burning across California.

She did not release any details about the firefighter’s identity or the extent of the injuries. He works for the Department of Natural Resources, agency spokesman Bob Redling said. His name was not released. Another firefighter remains in critical condition at Harborview with burns over 60 percent of his body.

“His thoughts are with the other injured firefighters and those who died”, Gregg said.

In this photo taken Friday evening, August 21, 2015, smoke from the Okanogan County fire fills the sky over Highway 97, as wildfires continue to burn throughout north-central Washington, in Omak, Wash. After a one-day orientation to learn about current fire behavior they will be assigned to large fires.

When helicopters could safely fly, buckets of water were sometimes dumped or were blown off target from the hot spots.

Fierce gusts put firefighters on the defensive on Friday, according to Pechota, the fire-incident commander.

More than 275,000 gallons of water have been dropped in an attempt to quell the sixteen large wildfires burning in the Evergreen State, according to the state’s National Guard.

The three firefighters who died were based in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, said forest spokeswoman Carrie McCausland.

Officials have been warning that strong winds were complicating firefighting efforts.

The Chelan Complex Fire stands at 86,412 acres as of Saturday morning. It also now includes the Black Creek and McFarland fires.

“I’m alive”, he said with a sigh Sunday.

“It’s a lot of people who love the place, who love protecting it, and it’s a great way to spend the summer”, Smillie said.

The weather on Sunday is supposed to be warmer and drier with winds 7 to 9 miles per hour in the Chelan area, Patterson said.

No structures have been lost, but more than 2,000 are threatened, Davis said. Fire managers are anticipating it will spread very quickly, potentially merging it with the North Star Fire on the Colville Reservation.

What’s happening with the Okanogan Complex Fire? Crews are working to construct a line to keep the fire from progressing toward Grand Forks and Christina Lake, British Columbia. It means it has run out of fuel to burn in that area, either because it has hit a man-made fire line, a retardant drop, a road or a lake. Two structures were destroyed, but it is unknown whether they were outbuildings or homes.

Some of the firefighters on the ground are following a family tradition, emulating their parents or a favorite uncle.

Dave Hilton, the environmental health director for Okanogan County, had been able to save his house as flames blew by on Thursday.

Heaps of twisted and charred metal litter his land where the fire burned through.

“There was a barn and a tool shop and a house and now there is nothing”, Hilton said.


An additional 200 Guardsmen will arrive Sunday, bringing the total to 700 members of the Washington National Guard. “Things are pretty good”, he said. I’m not real thankful.

Twisp Washington a day after three firefighters were killed fighting a wildfire near the town