77°

Topics

Laws and Legislation
'Tornadoes of fire' leave small Washington town reeling
'Tornadoes of fire' leave small Washington town reeling

Smoke hung like a cataract obscuring the pale-blue sky. It was hard to breathe Monday, hard to see, hard to envision a workable way forward. Late last week, a wind-whipped wildfire raced at speeds of as much as an acre a second over a nearby ridge and squarely into this tiny town of fruit packers and modest homes on the bank of the Columbia River. The Carlton Complex fire will probably go down as the biggest conflagration in Washington state history, torching about 240,000 acres and counting. Pateros, one of Washington's littlest towns, was no match for its fury. An estimated 20% of the buildings in the city, population 600 or so, have been destroyed. There is no electricity, no...

Loading