Carlton Complex Fire Largest in Washington History

Washington Fires from ISS

The Carlton Complex fire as seen from the International Space Station. Photo courtesy of NASA.

The Carlton Complex fire has now burned over 370 square miles of timber, sage, and grass, making it the largest wildfire that Washington State has experienced in its history of wildfire suppression.

Over two thousand firefighters are still struggling against the blaze, which is only 16% contained as of Tuesday evening. The fires that make up the complex began on July 14th and quickly merged into one larger fire that has ravaged North Central Washington for the past week, destroying an estimated 150 homes in the process. The death of one resident in the area is being blamed on the fire.

While the fire is showing no signs of slowing down, a new weather system moving in this week is bringing firefighters in the area some hope of relief. Temperatures are expected to drop by the middle of this week, with a significant chance of precipitation on Wednesday. However, this system also brings with it the potential for lightning- something nobody in Washington wants to see more of.

Governor Jay Inslee recently spoke about the fires with President Obama, who was in the state today for a Democratic fundraising dinner. The president told Inslee that the administration would be granting federal assistance via FEMA to the affected area, though it will still need time to assess just how much damage the fires have caused.

Up-to-date information on the Carlton Complex fire can be found at InciWeb. If you’re looking to help the citizens displaced by the Washington fires, please visit King 5 News or KREM 2 News for more information.

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