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. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

    Blogs

    Winner of the week 1: 'Liquor wall’ proponents. Gov. Rick Scott’s veto of a bill to allow Walmart, Target and other big box stores to sell liquor was a victory for an array of groups, from smaller merchants and Publix (which has stand-alone booze shops near its stores) to those who feel the hard stuff …

  2. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  3. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  4. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title

    Blogs

    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  5. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.