Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

'Funnel of fire' destroys homes in Washington

PATEROS, Wash. — A fire racing through rural north-central Washington destroyed about 100 homes, leaving behind smoldering rubble, solitary brick chimneys and burned-out automobiles as it blackened hundreds of square miles in the scenic Methow Valley.

Friday's dawn revealed dramatic devastation, with the Okanagan County city of Pateros, home to 650 people, hit especially hard. Most residents evacuated in advance of the flames, and some returned Friday to see what, if anything, was left of their houses. There were no reports of injuries, officials said.

A wall of fire wiped out a block of houses on Dawson Street. David Brownlee, 75, said he drove away Thursday evening as the fire reached the front of his home, which erupted like a box of matches.

"It was just a funnel of fire," Brownlee said. "All you could do was watch her go."

Firefighters poured water on the remnants of homes Friday, raising clouds of smoke, steam and dust. Two water towers perched above town were singed black. Ash fell like snowflakes.

Gov. Jay Inslee said about 50 fires were burning in Washington, which has been wracked by hot, dry weather and gusting winds and lightning. Some 2,000 firefighters were working in the eastern part of the state, with about a dozen helicopters assisting.

Officials said 100 National Guard troops were on standby, and up to 1,000 more in Yakima could receive additional fire training. Active duty military could be called in as well, Inslee said.

"This, unfortunately, is not going to be a one-day or one-week event," he said.

Flames creep down a hillside in Pateros, Wash., on Friday. Most of Pateros’ 650 residents left before the fire reached the city.

Associated Press

Flames creep down a hillside in Pateros, Wash., on Friday. Most of Pateros’ 650 residents left before the fire reached the city.

'Funnel of fire' destroys homes in Washington 07/18/14 [Last modified: Friday, July 18, 2014 10:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Toledo feels like a second season opener for Miami Hurricanes

    Blogs

    LAKE BUENA VISTA - The schedule says Week 4, but it sure doesn't feel that way for the No. 14 Miami Hurricanes.

    The Miami Hurricanes suit up for practice Tuesday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex
  2. Top 5 at noon: Trump threatens 'total destruction' of North Korea; Irma's death toll in Florida rises to 42, but will grow; and more

    News

    Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:

    U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters, Tuesday in New York City. [Getty Images]
  3. Key performances and a sizzling script elevate Heather Theatre's 'Disgraced'

    Stage

    TAMPA — When you step into the world of Disgraced, Ayad Akhtar's taut drama centered on two couples at a Manhattan dinner party, you never feel secure about where you sit. No one really can.

    The cast of Disgraced, Ayah Akhtar's Pulitzer-winning play at the Heather Theatre, includes (from left) Peter Alexander Kostis, Lynn Single, Shrey Neil, and Krystal Nicole Watts. Photo courtesy of the Heather.
  4. 10 National Monuments the Interior Department Wants to Shrink or Modify

    Nation

    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has proposed that President Donald Trump make changes to 10 national monuments, including Bears Ears in southern Utah, according to a memo addressed to the White House.

  5. At UN, Trump threatens 'total destruction' of North Korea (w/video)

    World

    UNITED NATIONS — President Donald Trump, in a combative debut speech to the U.N. General Assembly, threatened the "total destruction'" of North Korea if it does not abandon its drive toward nuclear weapons.

    United States President Donald Trump prepares to speak during the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. [Associated Press]