- Number of estimated homes destroyed by wildfires doubled to 300
- Power restored to parts of Methow Valley, including Twisp and Winthrop, Friday.
- Concerns of hotter and drier weather in the coming days.
PATEROS, Wash. It s now been a week since a terrible firestorm ripped through the town of Pateros, but on Friday afternoon the Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers announced that the number of homes lost continues to rise.
Rogers now says 300 homes were burned in the Carlton Complex Fire. Rogers says within the Carlton Complex fire there are 4,500 homes and 750 miles of road. The 300 hundred burned homes means that 6% of the homes in that region went down during the fire over the last week.
On Friday a church from Covington drove to Pateros, volunteering to help homeowners clean up.
I m just blessed to be here and give back, Michael Dechand said. Lots of people lost everything. It really makes you appreciate what you have.
The church worked under the leadership of Shane Rinker. Rinker is a disaster chaplain and he travels the country helping families in a time of crisis.
We ve got metal, we ve got natural debris, and then we ve got ash, Rinker said as he separated what was left of the mayor s home that burned down.
We work with the homeowners to find things and say, Is this something you want? said disaster Chaplain Kyle Green.
Pateros Mayor Libby Harrison, whose home burned, said she is focused on rebuilding her home and her community. In terms of the bigger picture she said she hopes to get the power on and the water running as soon as possible.
Power was finally restored to parts of the valley, including Twisp and Winthrop, on Friday, eight days after the fire burned two key utility lines. But many people in outlying areas remained without electricity, Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said.
At nearly 400 square miles, the lightning-caused Carlton Complex has eclipsed the 1902 Yacolt Burn, which killed 38 people and consumed about 373 square miles, or 238,920 acres, in southwest Washington. The Carlton Complex has been blamed for the death of a man who appeared to suffer a heart attack while trying to protect his property.
Fire crews have reported good progress in the last few days, with cooler weather and rain helping in getting the fire a little more than half contained. But officials were concerned that hotter, drier weather and wind gusts in the forecast could increase fire activity.
Meanwhile in eastern Oregon, the nation s largest wildfire - the Buzzard Complex - was 95 percent contained, the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center reported Friday. The fires have burned 618 square miles of rangeland.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday extended a burn ban for the dry eastern part of the state for another week. The ban had been set to end Friday.
While fire crews have made significant progress over the past week in bringing the fires under control, weather conditions are still a concern and we need to continue erring on the side of safety, Inslee said. Resources are still stretched thin and we want everything we have focused on containing the remaining fires and helping impacted families.
He also said that the state would waive permit requirements for anyone in the affected areas who wants to use extra-large generators because they remain without power.