Wildfires 4 times bigger than Seattle, largest ever in Washingtonon July 21, 2014 @ 3:09 pm (Updated: 6:18 am - 7/22/14 )
The largest wildfires burning in central Washington are over four times larger than the size of Seattle and they're 16 percent contained.
The Carlton Complex Fires in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest are 379 square miles. They have destroyed at least 200 homes and one person has died while trying to protect his home from the flames. Chelan County Emergency Management says Highway 20 is closed between Twisp and Okanogan. The Pleasant Valley area, North Cook Mountain Rd., Rock Creek, Buzzard Lake, Leader Lake, Alpine Lake, and White Rock Rd. are under immediate evacuation notice.
The Wenatchee World reports three "super scooper" airplanes scooped water out of Lake Chelan to drop on the south end of the Carlton Complex fires on Monday.
Another fire, the Mills Canyon Fire, also in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, is 22,571 acres. The Chiwaukum Complex is 11,051 acres and is slowly making its way down the Tumwater Canyon toward Icicle Ridge and Leavenworth, according to the Wenatchee World. Highway 2 between Leavenworth and Coles Corner is still closed.
How you can help
The Chelan Valley Hope organization has set up an online account where donations can be made. Donations help pay for items like food, batteries, flashlights, camp stoves, tents, cots, fuel for generators, etc.
The Puyallup Tribe's Emerald Casino and Pierce County Crime Stoppers are collecting water, first aid supplies, soap, socks, batteries, work gloves, Gatorade type drinks and many more items. Your donations can be dropped off at both Emerald Queen Casino locations. Read more.
Emerald Queen Casino Tacoma:
2024 E. 29th Street
Tacoma, WA 98404
Emerald Queen Casino Fife:
5700 Pacific Highway E.
Fife, WA 98424
Chelan PUD offices are accepting donations of money or gift cards to the Red Cross at their Wenatchee, Leavenworth and Chelan locations.
A fire relief fund has been set up by the Community Foundation of NCW. The fund will partner with the Red Cross to provide short- and long-term aid to fire victims. To donate, visit cfncw.org or send checks to 9 S. Wenatchee Ave., Wenatchee, WA 98801. For more information, call 509-663-7716.
Lakeland Veterinary Clinic in Manson is taking dog and cat food donations for the Chelan shelter. You can reach them at 509-687-1021.
Poor air quality
The drifting smoke has lowered air quality in much of Eastern Washington and parts of northern Idaho.
The Washington Ecology Department and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality have issued an air quality alert.
They say smoke particles could irritate eyes and noses and aggravate heart and lung disease. Vulnerable people are advised to remain indoors. Favorable weather with a chance of rain midweek should clear the air.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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