2,000 Firefighters Battling Blazes in Washington State

A fire racing through rural north-central Washington has destroyed about 100 homes, leaving behind smoldering rubble and burned-out automobiles.

The Okanagan County town of Pateros was hit especially hard. Most of the 650 residents evacuated in advance of the flames, and some returned Friday to see if anything was left of their houses. There were no reports of injuries.

A complex of fires has blackened 260 square miles.

Gov. Jay Inslee says some 2,000 firefighters are working in the eastern part of the state, with about a dozen helicopters from the Department of Natural Resources and the National Guard, along with a Washington State Patrol spotter plane.

Inslee says that the state is rapidly training about 1,000 additional National Guard troops and active duty military could be called in as well.


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