The growing Carlton Complex fire in rural Washington has burned an estimated 100 homes, destroyed power lines and caused an entire town to evacuate, according to the Associated Press. Hundreds of residents were told to leave their homes, including the entire town of Pateros, Washington. The Los Angeles Times reported that on Thursday officials declared a state of emergency for several eastern Washington counties.
Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers estimated about 100 homes had been destroyed, including "30 homes and trailers destroyed in Pateros, another 40 in a community just outside the town at Alta Lake and about 25 homes destroyed elsewhere," according to the AP. Rogers said two of his people had also lost their homes.
According to NBC News the Carlton Complex is actually a group of four fires started by lightening and fueled by dry vegetation. Strong winds are also pushing the fire. "This is a very dynamic situation," fire spokesman Dan Omdal said of the Carlton fire, according to the AP. "Fire activity is really high. Things are changing very quickly."
One hundred miles south the Chiwaukum Creek Fire forced 900 people to evacuate. There, too, 30 mph high winds and temperatures over 100 degrees are making it harder to fight the fire. "The weather and winds are not in our favor," fire spokeswoman Mary Bean told the AP. Smoke from the fire also caused a 24-vehicle pile-up on Interstate 90, according to WTSP.