Map of Carlton Complex fire as of July 21, 2014.
The Carlton Complex fire in north-central Washington is now the largest fire in state history, having burned 370 square miles, an area four times the size of Seattle, USA Today reports.
It has surpassed the 1902 Yacolt Burn, which consumed 238,920 acres and killed 38 people.
Four fires make up the Carlton Complex – Stokes Fire, Gold Hikes Fire, French Creek Fire and the Cougar Flat — all of which were ignited by lightning on July 14. The rapidly spreading fires, burning in a drought year in severe fire weather conditions, have forced residents to flee many small towns in the Methow Valley.
As of Tuesday, the fire has destroyed at least 200 homes. The fire also ravaged the small town of Pateros, where many homes were destroyed and power has been cut off for days.
Only one life has been lost during the Carlton Complex fire, that of 67-year-old Rob Koczewski, who died of a heart attack while defending his home in Carlton from the fire.
Another large lightning-caused fire, the Chiwaukum Complex, ignited on July 15 near Leavenworth, in central Washington. There are two other fires burning in the complex along with the Chiwaukum Creek fire — the Kelly and Duncan fires.
The complex has consumed around 11,000 acres and when it first ignited, its massive smoke plume could be seen from Seattle.
Red Flag Warning, July 22, 2014
Warnings for elevated wildfire danger were issued Tuesday by the National Weather Service for areas in Oregon, California, Washington, Nevada and Utah.
Fire weather watches were issued for areas in Idaho.
The Red Flag Warning map was current as of 10:00 a.m. MDT on Tuesday. Red Flag Warnings can change throughout the day as the National Weather Service offices around the country update and revise their forecasts. For the most current data visit this site.
A plane crash north of Sedona that killed four people also ignited a small wildfire on Sunday, The Arizona Republic reported.
The 25-acre Fay Fire is burning about four miles north of Sedona in the Coconino National Forest, the paper reported. One hotshot crew, one helicopter and an air attack have been assigned to fire
The victims of the crash have yet to be identified, officials say. The cause of the crash was unknown as of Monday afternoon.
A Washington man died of a heart attack this weekend while fighting to save his Okanogan County home from a wildfire, The Associated Press reported Monday morning.
Rob Koczewski, 67, was trying to defend his home in Carlton, in northern Washington’s Methow Valley, from the Carlton Complex fire. Koczewski was a retired U.S. Marine Koczewski and WSP trooper “who was very close with local law enforcement,” The Associated Press said.
Lightning ignited the four fires that make up the Carlton Complex on July 14; the latest updates have the complex at more than 237,000 acres. At last count, some of the fires had destroyed at least 150 homes, many of which were in the small town of Pateros.
North American wildfires seen from space–NASA Earth Observatory
NASA satellite images taken this weekend picked up smoke plumes coming from fires in the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Read more about the images on NASA’s Earth Observatory website.
Pyrocumulus clouds seen from space–NASA Earth Observatory.
Red Flag Warning, July 21, 2014
Warnings for elevated wildfire danger were issued Monday by the National Weather Service for areas in Oregon, California, Utah, Idaho, Colorado and Wyoming.
Fire weather watches were issued for areas in Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Nevada.
The Red Flag Warning map was current as of 10:30 a.m. MDT on Monday. Red Flag Warnings can change throughout the day as the National Weather Service offices around the country update and revise their forecasts. For the most current data visit this site.