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Cooler weather helps fight massive Washington wildfire

Carlton Complex fire in Washington is 16% contained, officials say.
Cooler weather helps fight massive Washington wildfire
Washington forecast calls for cooler temps, higher humidity and less wind, all factors that help firefighters

Cooler weather has helped firefighters battle Washington state’s mammoth Carlton Complex blaze, which is about 16% contained, officials said on Tuesday.

In the latest update, officials said "moderated fire behavior has allowed for good progress in line construction,” against the largest wildfire in state history. Officials estimated that more than 150 homes have been destroyed and 1,103 structures are threatened.

The Carlton fire, started as four blazes caused by lightning on July 14 that 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, who died from an apparent heart attack while saving his home.

Many of the 20 some wildfires in Washington and Oregon  were also caused by lightning strikes.

Weather forecasts call for cooler temperatures, higher humidity and less wind, all factors that help firefighters. Rain is expected by Wednesday in much of the state and that will bring more lightening.

Officials on Tuesday also said that there are 2,110 firefighters and other personnel deployed to the fire. 

Many towns in the area, which includes the Methow Valley, remain without electrical power because the fire destroyed transmission lines. The Okanogan County Public Utility District has said it could weeks to restore electricity.

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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