Thanks rain! Largest wildfire in Washington state history now 52% contained

OKANOGAN COUNTY -- The 250,000-acre Carlton Complex Fire is now 52 percent contained, thanks in part to the rain Wednesday.

"Showers have moderated fire behavior allowing for good progress in line construction," according to the official

"The Carlton Complex as a whole reached  53% containment this afternoon," it said. "The jump from 16% to 52% was due to the Carlton-South and Carlton-East zones making significant headway in line construction."

But the storm moving through the area forced authorities at one point to pull all firefighters off the line late Wednesday afternoon.

Though Wednesday's rainfall has been a godsend for the more than 2,000 firefighters battling the Carlton Complex Fire in central Washington, a new concern has arisen:


Thunderstorms are expected to keep the expanding into the evening.

Cities possibly at risk for flash floods include Wenatchee, Chelan, Entiat, Cashmere, Leavenworth, Mazama, Twisp, Winthrop, Stehekin and others.

Areas with fire scars -- places heavily burned by the Carlton Complex Fire -- are most likely to see flash flooding, the NWS said.

Officials warned it takes as little as 10 minutes of heavy rain to cause flash flooding and debris flows in areas affected by wildfires, as rain runs off almost instantly from burned soils. For more details on the hazards of flash floods, click here.

The heavy rainfall will not completely quell fires in the area, however. These fires are still burning, and expected to persist through the rain: