Smoke From Washington Wildfires Spreads

Aug 24, 2015

Smoke and haze continues to plague much of Washington from the wildfires that are burning over large parts of the state.

Some 16 wildfires and hundreds of smaller spot fires have been reported.

Todd Pechota is a fire incident commander.

He told reporters that if you add up all of the burning areas, the perimeter would extend nearly a thousand miles.

And as for all the smoke, Pechota says unstable atmospheric conditions could clear the worst of it, but that's not good for windy conditions.

Weather Could Cause Trouble For Washington Fire Crews

Aug 24, 2015

Weather is expected to cause more problems Monday for fires in north central Washington. The Okanogan Complex is burning more than 250,000 acres.

Courtney Flatt / Northwest Public Radio

An investigation into what caused the deaths of three firefighters and injured four others last week in North Central Washington is just beginning. This fire is now part of the Okanogan Complex, which has burned nearly 375 square miles.


Firefighters are gaining control of the Canyon Creek Complex. It’s still growing, but there’s little danger to homes as most of the blaze is moving into the wilderness. In John Day, Oregon, Ashley Stewart reports.

Officials say firefighters made “great progress” overnight. The blaze has grown slightly to more than 69-thousand acres. Now, it’s 23 percent contained – that’s up from 17 percent on Saturday. For now, most homes are safe as the wildfire moves away from town and into the county’s wilderness area.

A juvenile inmate helping fight wildfires in North Central Washington escaped Friday after allegedly assaulting a staff member. Officials have said the inmate no longer poses a threat to the community. Courtney Flatt has more. 

The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that the escaped inmate was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The inmate had stolen a gun the previous night.  

Courtney Flatt

Fires in North Central Washington are continuing to threaten homes and buildings. Thousands of people are still under evacuation orders. But calming winds have helped slow the fires’ progress. 


As of Sunday at noon, the fires in North Central Washington covered more than 140,000 acres, but the two largest – Chelan Complex and Wolverine – are more than 30% contained.Here’s what we know as of Sunday at 12 PM:

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

What’s happening with the Okanogan Complex Fire?

As of 5 PM Saturday, the five fires in the Okanogan Complex covered more than 227,000 acres – primarily due to Friday’s expansion to the south on the Tunk Block fire, fanned by strong winds blowing north to south. 

Paige Browning / Spokane Public Radio

President Obama’s emergency declaration for Washington unlocks federal firefighting tools. U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell applauded the declaration during a stop in Spokane Friday, but says the state still needs aerial resources.

Methow Valley ranchers and their horses fled fire in Central Washington this week. They hauled the horses out in convoys of trailers. Now one herd of 15 horses has been evacuated to the a ranch outside of Wenatchee.