Firefighters in Washington Worry Over Wind Forecast

The largest wildfire in Washington state history grew by more than 22 square miles overnight

By Dillon Tabish

PORTLAND, Ore. — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is scheduled to participate in a Friday briefing on wildfires burning across the West.

A new fire on Kodiak Island in Alaska burned a library and several homes and people are being urged to evacuate. The fire erupted Thursday night and has burned more than 3 square miles.

Crews in Washington continued to battle the largest blaze in state history, while there were evacuations in Idaho and Montana.


The largest wildfire in Washington state history grew by more than 22 square miles overnight, and firefighters are worried about high winds predicted for this weekend.

The Okanogan Complex of wildfires was listed at 472 square miles Friday, after windy conditions Thursday pushed the fire on a couple of runs. It is only 12 percent contained.

Officials say the fire has destroyed at least 45 primary residences, 49 cabins and 60 outbuildings. Three firefighters died battling the fire last week, and a memorial service for them is planned for Sunday in Wenatchee.

Fire spokeswoman Sierra Hellstrom says temperatures are lower and humidity higher on Friday, which is good news for firefighters. But thunderstorms with high winds predicted for this weekend could fan the flames.

The fire lines were holding as crews fought the largest wildfire on record in Washington state, even as rising temperatures and increased winds stoked the flames.

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