Firefighters battling Washington’s largest wildfire have been able to keep the blaze from threatening more homes, but rising temperatures this week will make the job harder, officials said.
Temperatures for Central and Eastern Washington are expected to be scorching, with some areas hitting triple digits. But amid the heat, there’s a bit of good news: Wind isn’t a major factor in the forecast.
“If we continue to heat up and dry out, it’ll dry out more fuels, but we don’t have the winds that may spread them or cause a new fire,” said Ty Judd, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.
Fueled by dry conditions and wind gusts, the Carlton complex fire has torn through 390 square miles in North Central Washington, leaving 300 homes destroyed in the Pateros and Brewster areas of Okanogan County and throughout the Methow Valley. Officials said the fire was 66 percent contained as of Monday.
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Incident spokesman Jim Schwarber said the fire perimeter was mostly stable from Winthrop to Carlton.
Firefighters Monday also battled a brush fire that threatened about a dozen homes in south Spokane.
Spokane Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said the fire was burning on a heavily timbered steep slope above Qualchan Golf Course.