Carlton Complex fires destroy more homes

The Carlton Complex fire in central Washington state grew massively on Saturday, and officials say that some of the complex’s four fires have destroyed 150 homes.

As of Sunday morning the fire burned more than 299,000 acres, having grown from roughly 215,000 acres the day before, local media reported. It is zero percent contained, officials said on Sunday.

The fire leveled many homes in the small town of Pateros, and forced evacuations of other towns in the Methow Valley. It has shut down phone and internet connections for many of the area’s businesses and residents.

Lighting ignited the fires on July 14. Fueled by drought, heat and extreme winds the fires continued to spread last week, sending smoke across most of the Western United States.

The complex is one of several burning in Washington (including the Chiwaukum Complex) which is currently the nation’s top priority when it comes to fire suppression, the National Interagency Fire Center said on Friday. Two C-130s equipped with MAFFS units have been called up to the fight the fires, including a DC-10, which was seen dropping retardant on the Carlton Complex on Saturday.