Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Carlton Complex Fire

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Covid-19
Cause  Lightning
Fatalities  1
Buildings destroyed  300
Carlton Complex Fire
Location  Okanogan County, Washington
Date(s)  July 14, 2014 (2014-07-14) — August 7, 2014 (2014-08-07)
Burned area  253,377 acres (1,025 km)

The Carlton Complex Fire is the largest wildfire in the history of Washington state. It began on July 14, 2014 as four separate lightning-caused fires in the Methow Valley which merged into one by July 20 and burned over 250,000 acres (1,011.7 km2). The fire destroyed approximately 300 houses in and around the towns of Pateros and Malott, as well as rural Okanogan County.

Contents

Origin

The Carlton Complex fire consisted of four fires (the Stokes Fire, the Gold Hikes Fire, the French Creek Fire and the Cougar Flat fire) which were ignited by lightning strikes on July 14.

Due to hot weather and windy conditions, the fire grew significantly on July 17 and rapidly overtook the town of Pateros. Over the next few days, several evacuations were ordered, including the entire towns of Pateros and Malott, as well as portions of Brewster, Okanogan, Carlton and Methow.

Rain slowed the fire on July 24, allowing crews to reach 60% containment by July 26.

Aftermath

The Carlton Complex is the largest wildfire in Washington state's recorded history, surpassing the 1902 Yacolt Burn. The fire destroyed 322 homes as well as 149 other structures. One death is attributed to the fire: a man who suffered a heart attack while trying to protect his home.

On 24 August 2015, some media outlets inaccurately reported that the Okanogan Complex fire had become the largest wildfire in Washington state history, surpassing the Carlton Complex fire. However, at that time the Okanogan Complex fire still had not merged into a single fire, and so the Carlton Complex remains the state's largest single fire.

Fire suppression of the Carlton Complex fire cost the state at least $60 million, not including damaged property and infrastructure.

Over 170 homeowners have sued the state for damages, claiming the Washington Department of Natural Resources's response to the fire was negligent.

References

Carlton Complex Fire Wikipedia


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