Thursday, August 01, 2013

Oregon and Washington Wildfires

Wildfires in Washington state and Oregon have blackened more than 200 square miles of terrain across the Pacific Northwest, forcing hundreds of residents to flee their homes. In Washington, some 1,700 firefighters worked to contain a pair of fires that have charred a combined 85,000 acres east of the Cascade Range, destroying at least three homes and several outbuildings.

The so-called Colockum Tarps fire, which broke out on Saturday morning and quickly spread through dry brush near Malaga, had burned over some 60,000 acres of mountain slopes toward the Columbia River by Wednesday afternoon.  Air tankers have dropped water and flame retardant to protect neighborhoods and power lines, he said. The Colockum, only about 8 percent contained, has forced 150 people to evacuate their homes south of Wenatchee.

In southwestern Oregon, a wildfire started by lightning on July 26 that had already burned over more than 25,000 acres was threatening 500 homes. Dubbed the Douglas Complex fire, it is made up of four large fires and 55 smaller blazes.

A few minor injuries have been reported among the 1,387 firefighters and support personnel battling the blaze, officials said. Crews were using 11 helicopters, 86 fire trucks, 15 bulldozers and 27 water tenders. (Various news sources)

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