Fire burns into the night on the ridge above the Lindsey Ranch on Twisp River Road, 20 August 2015. Photo: Ted S Warren / AP

By Donna Blankinship and Brian Skoloff
24 August 2015

OKANOGAN, Washington (AP) – The massive fire burning in north-central Washington is now the largest in state history.

The Okanogan Complex of wildfires has surpassed last year's Carlton Complex blazes, fire spokesman Rick Isaacson said Monday morning.

The Okanogan Complex was measured overnight at just over 400 square miles, slightly more than the Carlton fires, which also burned in Okanogan County.

The Okanogan Complex grew by more than 26 square miles Sunday and is expected to grow even more in coming days. Isaacson did not have a containment estimate, but there is very little containment on the wildfire.

Isaacson called the record unfortunate and said the fire could burn until rain and snow season arrives.

"It's only Aug. 24th," he said. "In our district we could see this go clear to the first of November."

Officials are still trying to determine how many homes and other structures have been burned by the Okanogan Complex.

About 1,250 people are battling the wildfire, Isaacson said. Last week, three firefighters were killed and four injured when they were overtaken while trying to escape the flame. […]

Sixteen large wildfires are burning across central and eastern Washington, covering more than 920 square miles. More than 200 homes have been destroyed, and more than 12,000 homes and thousands of other structures remain threatened. [more]

Washington wildfire is now largest in state history


This animated map was created by the U.S. Forest Service AirFire research team and shows the smoke billowing from the Okanogan fires and others burning around Washington state, 22-24 August 2015. Graphic: U.S. Forest Service

By Erin McCann
24 August 2015

(The Guardian) – The fire complex burning in north-central Washington is now the largest in state history, beating a record set just last year in the same county.

Fire spokesman Rick Isaacson said on Monday that the Okanogan Complex of wildfires grew overnight to just over 400 square miles, slightly more than the Carlton fires, which also burned in Okanogan County last summer.

Late morning local time on Monday, officials said the complex of fires had burned 256,567 acres, or just over 400 square miles. For comparison, New York City is just over 300 square miles, Los Angeles is about 500 square miles, and London is just over 600 square miles. The fire has burned an area roughly one-fifth the size of Delaware.

Okanogan County is just over 5,300 square miles.

The smoke, however, is reaching an even bigger area. The animated map above was created by the US forest service AirFire research team and shows the last two days of smoke billowing from the Okanogan fires and others burning around Washington state. […]

“This will be an extended period of time when we will continue to fight fire,” firefighter Matt Reidy said this weekend. “The predictions for September are equally dry and hot.” [more]

Washington wildfires break state record: just how big is the blaze?

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