Washington state battles worst wildfire in history

Metro Vancouver also issued an air-quality advisory for central and eastern Fraser Valley.


Fire officials over the weekend began providing basic fire training to volunteers who have machinery like backhoes and bulldozers so they can help dig fire lines.

“When you do catch a break, it’s a short break”.

Dozens of wildfires, including the largest on record in Washington state, roared through parts of the bone-dry U.S. West on Monday with unusually warm weather and a return of high winds expected to heighten fire risk in the Pacific Northwest later this week.

Last July’s Carleton Complex Fire burned 260 homes in Okanogan County.

An Okanogan Complex of five wildfires has now extended to 256,567 acres or 400 square miles, slightly larger than similar wildfires in 2014.

The fires grew by greater than 26 sq. miles on Sunday and have been anticipated to unfold much more in coming days.

While the number of new fires may be going down, but Skrepnek said it’s too early to say it’s the end of fire season. The Okanogan Complex is burning more than 250,000 acres. Last week, three firefighters were killed and four hurt when they were overtaken while trying to escape the flame.

“By the same token, the complex is Obama-declares-federal-emergency/3451440262213/” target=”_blank”>40 percent contained.

A farmer mows alfalfa amid the smoke near Omak, Wash., on August . 23. That press conference will be streamed live on Around 1,150 officials worked to ward off further growth of the fires, officials said. The rains will also help in clearing the atmosphere which is now under thick layer of smoke.

Costs for the global firefighters will be paid by the agency they’re assigned to, officials said, though no estimate was yet available.

Pechote sounded determined to make progress on the fire with the help of calmer weather. “It’s really quite a network and I think that’s a really good thing, because when we do come together to fight fires like this with some of the people, we know their techniques, we can speak each other’s languages a little bit”.

When asked what firefighters are asking for, his answer was simple: Rain.

“I want to say this is an unprecedented cataclysm in our state“, Inslee said Thursday.


The recently discovered Bear Lake fire, spotted Friday north of Polaris in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, has grown to 1,225 acres.

Firefighters from Australia and New Zealand helping with fire in Washington story image