Okanogan complex fire has burned 227,000 acres

KING 5 News 6:30 report

SEATTLE – At more than 227,000 acres, the Okanogan complex fire is approaching the size of last year's Carlton Complex fire.

Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said Saturday it is too early to say how many homes have been burned.

Rogers said Saturday that the official tally of three homes and 33 other structures lost was preliminary. He said it will take weeks for a full count, but he knows "we are going to have quite a few."

Rogers said the fires are burning only one or a handful of homes at a time, not entire neighborhoods.

The second of the four firefighters injured on Wednesday has been transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Harborview spokeswoman Susan Gregg said Saturday the firefighter was transferred on Friday night and is listed in satisfactory condition.

She did not release any details about the firefighter's identity or the extent of the injuries.

The Chelan Complex Fire stands at 86,412 acres as of Saturday. It's 35 percent contained, down from 50 percent on Wednesday. But the Washington state Department of Natural Resources says that's because the Black Creek and MacFarland fires were added to the Chelan Complex. Those fires had zero percent containment.

The fire in the greater Chelan area is contained, according to DNR.

Washington Emergency Management reported

  • As of Saturday afternoon, 590,000 acres burned across Central and Eastern Washington
  • An extra 200 Guardsmen will arrive Sunday, bringing the total to 700 members of the Washington National Guard
  • At least 276,000 gallons of water have been dumped by Blackhawk helicopters
  • Help is on the way from Minnesota, Wyoming, and Colorado
  • By Sunday there should be 10 Blackhawks helping

Winds calmed on Saturday but were expected to pick up again on Sunday. A red flag warning will be in effect from noon Sunday to 9 p.m. Monday for much of north central and northeast Washington. Temperatures will be in the upper 80s to mid-90s with very low humidity.

Smoke from the fires caused hazy skies in Western Washington on Saturday.

Red Cross shelters (as of 5 a.m. Saturday)

MOE Elementary, 407 E. Woodin, Chelan
Sterling Middle School, 600 N. James, East Wenatchee
Brewster Middle/High School, 503 S. 7th St., Brewster

Social media has been key for emergency managers to get the word out quickly this week. A common phrase seen on many posts regarding evacuations is "Do not wait for door-to-door notification."

Okanogan County officials say there are several ways to stay up-to-date:


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