SOUTH OF OSOYOOS, B.C – More than 1,600 firefighters are working on controlling a massive wildfire south of Osoyoos in Washington State’s Okanogan County that consumed another 35 homes Sunday night.
There are reports that upwards of 150 homes have already been lost to the Carlton Complex fire which has burned through more than 237,000 acres since July 14th.
A 76-year-old man died from a heart attack while trying to keep flames from destroying his home in Carlton.
According to the US Forest Service on the Incident Information System website, the Carlton Complex fire is the amalgamation of the Stokes, Gold Hikes, French Creek and Cougar Flat fires.
The Seattle Times is calling it the largest wildfire in the state’s history, mapping it at 4.5 times the size of Seattle.
Extreme fire behavior has been fanned by hot weather and windy conditions, pushing the fire over the ridge tops and into the town of Pateros, resulting in almost 500 homes evacuated.
The fire moved to the edge of Pateros and Brewster Sunday evening. Only 2 per cent of the blaze is contained.
Red Cross Shelters have opened in Twisp, Omak and Chelan.
Highway 97 is closed between Pateros and Brewster, south of Omak where the current conditions “present specific and immediate threats to the life and safety of persons in the area,” according to the latest fire report on Inciweb.nwcg.gov.
The wildfire was sparked by lightning last Monday.
Thunderstorms are forecast to roll through Central Washington again Wednesday.