Carlton Complex largest wildfire in state history

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Carlton Complex fire has charred more than 250,000 acres as of Tuesday morning, becoming the largest wildfire in Washington state history.

Because the fire is over 100 miles long, the command and control for managing the firefighting effort has been split among three zones, commanded by teams based in Winthrop, Omak and Chelan.

There are currently approximately 2,110 firefighters and support personnel fighting the fire, which is reported to be 16-percent contained. Among the fire crews are elements of both the Washington National Guard and Montana National Guard, which are providing air support for the fire. Additionally, soldiers from the 1st Squadron, 303rd Cavalry, Washington Army National Guard, were deployed to Wenatchee Monday to assist in the firefighting effort.

Overnight fire crews were able to build and strengthen fire lines, and fire growth on the northeastern edge of the fire has slowed significantly. Crews were able to make a stand and prevent the fire from spreading east of Highway 153 and in Libby Creek west of Carlton, according to fire officials.

Tuesday's cooler temperatures and rain is giving firefighters some respite as well as cold help to moderate the fire's behavior.

Governor Jay Inslee, who ordered a burn ban in 20 eastern counties due to the extreme fire conditions, plans to brief President Obama on the current status of the fire after the president arrives in Seattle Tuesday afternoon.

Highway Closures:

Road closures may be in effect and closures can change quickly due to the dynamic fire situation. Contact the "511" automated Washington Department of Transportation Travel Information line for updated information, or call (509) 667-2802.

Evacuation information:

The Okanogan County Sheriff's Office has reduced the evacuation levels for the following communities from Level 3 to Level 2.

  • Pleasant Valley

  • North Cook Mtn. Road

  • Rock Creek

  • Buzzard Lake

  • Leader Lake

Level 2: Conditions indicate a good probability that hazards associated with the approaching fires will severely limit the ability to provide emergency service protection.  You must be prepared to leave at a moment's notice.

With the dynamic fire situation, information on specific evacuation areas can change quickly. Up to date information should be obtained from the Okanogan County Sheriff's Office or Emergency Services at (509) 422-2422, (509) 422-2428, (509) 422-2448, or (509) 422-2420. Information is also available on the Okanogan County Sheriff's Facebook page.

Forest Service Area Closures:

All USFS land south of the Twisp River Rd. and the #37 Rd are closed. This includes the entire Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness on both the Methow and Chelan sides of the ridge, with the exception of the Lakeside Trail near Chelan. Also included is the South Summit area of the Methow Ranger District.

Red Cross support of fire victims:

The Red Cross has mobilized several Emergency Response Vehicles Tuesday to provide additional feeding sites throughout our affected communities. Feeding will be available during lunch and dinner times at:

  • The AgriPlex at the Okanogan Fairgrounds

  • Twisp Community Center (fixed site)

  • Throughout the Pateros community (mobile feeding)

  • Throughout the Carlton community (mobile feeding)

  • All open Red Cross shelters – see below

Red Cross shelters that continue to be in operation include:

  • The Winthrop Barn - 51 N Hwy 20, Winthrop

  • Chelan High School - 215 W. Webster Ave. Chelan

  • Brewster High School – 503 South 7th, Brewster

Since the start of support operations on July 17, 2014, the Red Cross has provided 232 overnight stays emergency shelters, 2,032 meals and 1,190 snacks.

Local Assistance:

  • Four Lakes Winery Offering camping sites in the vineyard with irrigation and restrooms for anyone who has been evacuated. Contact Frankie Swaner at 679-0709

  • KOZI Radio They have contacts for housing, pet boarding, livestock boarding, food and water. Call 682-4033.

  • Community Foundation - Provide short- and long-term financial aid to fire victims. For more information, call 663-7716.

  • Okanogan County Public Utility District 422-3310 Residents may contact the utility for information on generator installation.

  • The Cove Food Bank 128 Glover St., Twisp, WA Call 997-0227

  • Brewster Community Center 603 West Cliff St., Twisp, WA 733-1366 Water, Food, Clothing, Shoes, Towels, toiletries, shower.

  • Carlton Restaurant Carlton, WA - Food, water.

  • Methow Community Center Methow, WA - Food, water

  • Calvary Baptist Church 1119 East Methow Valley Highway, Twisp, WA - Food, water

Options for pet owners:

Call in advance to see if the location still has space, and to check all boarding requirements.

  • Big Dog Kennel in Chelan is accepting small animals like dogs, birds, and cats, with cages. Owner Chrys Fine said she has cat, dog, and bird food available but pet owners should bring food if possible. Call 509-687-9306.

  • Lake Chelan Veterinary Hospital is accepting small pets for boarding. The clinic has limited space. Call 509-682-5812.

  • Wenatchee Valley Humane Society's Club Pet is allowing all Level 3 Evacuation fire victims to leave their pets for free. "We're close to capacity, but if there is space, we'll take them," said Dawn Davies, executive director of the Humane Society. Club Pet is next to the Humane Society, 1474 S. Wenatchee Ave. Call 888-7387.

  • Countryside Veterinary Clinic in Wenatchee is currently offering free boarding for small animals such as cats and dogs. Owners should bring a cage for their animals and anything it needs for care. Call 663-6542.

  • The Chelan County Expo Center in Cashmere is accepting large animals like horses. Owners should bring containers for water for their animals and anything else they need for care. Call 782-3232.

  • Omak Stampede Grounds is accepting large animals such as horses and cows for boarding. Owners should bring hay for their animals. Call 509-826-1983.

  • Okanogan County Fairgrounds is accepting evacuated animals, as well as room for RV parking for evacuated families with or without animals. For more information, call 846-6026.

Lost and Found Pets in Carlton Complex:

  • A Facebook page for pets separated from their owners in the Carlton Complex fire has been established by National Disaster Animal Response and Recovery Teams. To post a found or sighted pet or to search for a pet listing, visit