Carlton Complex Fire grows to 250,136 acres, but 16% contained

PATEROS, Wash – Crews fighting the Carlton Complex fire in north central Washington are beginning to make progress on that fire, helped by Mother Nature and a steady drizzle.

On Tuesday, authorities said the Carlton Complex Fire, the largest fire in the history of Washington, was 16 percent contained.

Still, the fire that was more than 100 miles long had grown to 250,136 acres in size. The number of resources on the ground grew as well and now includes about 2,110 firefighters and fire personnel.

The Carlton Complex fire was sparked by lightning one week ago. At least 185 homes and other buildings have been destroyed by the fire. One person died of an apparent heart attack while trying to protect his home.

A Q13FOX News reporter holds up a before and after picture of a home burned in the Carlton Comples Fires.

On Monday, cooler weather came into the area allowing firefighters some respite. Showers approached the area Tuesday, resulting in moderated fire behavior, and allowing crews to better build fire perimeters.

The Loup Loup Road is closed from Milepost 210-223 off and on throughout Tuesday. Firefighters hope to open it permanently soon. All USFS land south of the Twisp River Rd. and the #37 Rd are closed.  This includes the entire Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness on both the Methow and Chelan sides of the ridge, with the exception of the Lakeside Trail near Chelan.

Several evacuations have occurred and continue.  There is a Red Cross Shelter at the Fellowship Church in Omak.  Displaced public can make contact with the Omak Red Cross Shelter at (509) 663-3907.

Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee met with Emergency Operations Center staff at Camp Murray in Central Washington.

The red cross mobilized several emergency response vehicles Tuesday to provide additional feeding sites through affected communities.

Sheriff's Warning 

The Okanogan County Sheriff's Office issued a theft warning Tuesday, saying many were using the time to steal from the vulnerable.

"Unfortunately in time of emergencies like our fires there is potential for crime including looting," the sheriff said. "Please call us rather then comment and post here. We don't want to miss anyone needing help!"

Other Fires 

The Chiwaukum Creek Fire burned two structures near Leavenworth earlier in the week, but was largely contained.

A new wildfire called the Bugg Road Fire, about 8 miles east of Tonasket, along Highway 97, broke out Monday and quickly grew from 300 acres to 1,100 acroes. “Multiple structures threatened,” the Washington Department of Natural Resources tweeted. Mandatory Level 3 evacuation orders were issued for Tonasket, and from Siwash Road at North Siwash Road and Oberg Road.

The MIlls Canyon and Kelly Mountain fires were growing slowly, but the same low pressure weather system helping the Carlton Complex Fires was also helping operations on other local fires.

There are a total of five fires, including the Carlton Complex, burning in the state of Washington as of Monday night.