NATION

Number of homes destroyed in Washington fire doubles to 300

Carlton Complex fire, started by lightning on July 14, is 55% contained

The number of homes destroyed in the worst wildfire in the state of Washington’s history has about doubled to 300, Okanogon County Sheriff Frank T. Rogers said Friday.

In a telephone interview, Rogers said that officials have confirmed that about 300 residences have been destroyed in the Carlton Complex blaze, which began July 14. Rogers had said earlier that it appeared that the fire would destroy more than 150 homes.

“We’ve maxed out,” the sheriff told the Los Angeles Times in a voice heavy with fatigue. He said he believed the number of destroyed homes would not increase further.

In the latest update, the Carlton Complex fire was about 55% contained, having consumed more than 390 square miles. The number of structures still threatened is more than 1,100.

The fire started as four blazes caused by lightning. They converged into one giant fire about 200 miles from Seattle and 7 miles south of the community of Twisp, Wash. One fatality has been reported. Rob Koczewski, 67, died from an apparent heart attack while trying to save his home.

Hundreds of people were evacuated at the fire’s peak, but all have been allowed to return, the sheriff said.

Officials said 2,943 firefighters and other personnel have been deployed to the fire.

The blaze has destroyed power lines in the area, cutting off electricity. But officials were slowly bring power back to some areas, Rogers said.

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