• WILDFIRE UPDATES: Evacuation levels downgraded as weather conditions help firefighters

    By: KIRO 7 STAFF

    Updated:

    OKANOGAN CO., Wash. - Massive wildfires, with some deadly, burn out of control in northern and central Washington -- putting hundreds of firefighters to work and forcing residents out of their homes.

    The Okanogan Complex of wildfires is the largest in Washington history. 


    FAST BREAKDOWN OF FIRE COMPLEXES

    QUICK RESOURCES:


    KIRO 7 is providing updates in the thread below on multiple fires in the state.

    11 a.m.

    Lower temperatures and higher humidity gave helped firefighters Tuesday as they tried to control wildfires in Okanogan County.

    <center>https://twitter.com/KIRO7Seattle/status/638790297892331520</center>

    A wildfire north of Nespelem that burned 320 square miles was 25 percent contained on Tuesday morning. Fire officials said a 252-square mile fire burning just west of there was 30 percent contained.

    "The weather is really helping," fire spokesman Donnie Davis said.

    Highs that had been in the 90s recently were in the 60s now, and humidity had more than doubled into the 40s, Davis said.

    Meanwhile, the Okanogan Complex of wildfires was measured at 225 square miles and was 40 percent contained. This had been the largest wildfire in state history until more than half was split off this week by fire managers into a separately-managed blaze.

    The Okanogan Complex has cost $13.7 million to fight so far, and 1,244 firefighters remain on the lines, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The fire killed three firefighters on Aug. 18, injured four others, and has burned more than 100 structures.

    10 a.m.

    A 4.3 magnitude earthquake has hit the wildfire zone in north central Washington.

    The quake, which was six miles deep, hit 26 miles east of Okanogan and 25 miles north of Grand Coulee at 9:42 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.

    KIRO 7 meteorolgist Morgan Palmer said an earthquake of that depth was considered shallow and was likely felt as a jolt. Click here for more.

    <center>https://twitter.com/MorganKIRO7/status/638764351487283201</center>

    8:30 a.m.

    Okanogan County Emergency Management downgraded evacuation levels on Tuesday morning.

    Level 3 - Leave Immediately
    - Aeneas Valley
    - Crawfish Lake
    - Disautel – west to Omak
    - Kartar Valley
    - Moses Meadows
    - North of South Nanamkin on Hwy 21
    - Tunk area

    Level 2 – Be Ready
    - Gardener Creek Rd at Ferry County Line
    - Nespelem and Nespelem HUDs
    - Owhi Flats
    - South Nanamkin Creek – South to Cache Creek Rd turnoff on Hwy 21

    Level 1 – Alert
    - Alta Lake
    - Buzzard Lake Rd
    - Chiliwist
    - Brewster
    - Carlton
    - Chesaw
    - Clarkston Mill
    - Colville Agency
    - Town of Conconully greater area
    - Gold Creek Rd.
    - Gold Creek Loop Rd.
    - South Fork Gold Cr. Rd
    - Middle, North Forks Gold Cr. Rds.
    - Havillah
    - Leader Lake
    - Loomis
    - Malott
    - Mazama
    - Methow
    - Methow Valley north from Alta Lake to Ross Rd. north of Carlton
    - Molson
    - Okanogan
    - Omak
    - Omak Flats
    - Oroville
    - Pateros
    - Pine Forest Area
    - Pleasant Valley
    - Riverside
    - State Frontage Rd outside Tonasket
    - Sun Mountain
    - Tonasket
    - Twisp
    - Twisp River Rd
    - Twisp River
    - Twisp River Drainage
    - West Fork Rd area of Salmon Creek, west of city limits
    - Winthrop
    - Wolf Creek: All of the L Fork and the R Fork up to Green Meadows

    7 a.m.

    As of Monday in Chelan County, no level 3 evacuations are in effect. Level 2 and level 1 orders were listed Tuesday:

    Areas with Level 2 evacuation orders: 

    - Entiat River Rd starting at approximately mile post 21.5 (Brief) up to the end of the end of the Entiat River Rd

    Areas with Level 1 evacuation orders:

    - First Creek Rd.
    - South Shore from Morning Sun Dr. to Shady Pass --- keep your speeds down and watch for fire personnel.
    - Entiat River Rd. from Potato Creek to Brief
    - 8 cabins below Cottonwood Campground (Up the Entiat River Rd.)

    For more on fire information, reference, evacuations, and road closures call 509-667-6863.

    Monday

    3:30 p.m.

    Rain and cooler temperatures Monday helped firefighters battling a series of big blazes in north-central Washington and other states in the West.

    In Okanogan County, the North Star Complex of wildfires stood at 313 square miles and was about 22 percent contained.

    A small amount of rain that fell Sunday didn't even reach the floor of the burning forests, but raised humidity levels, which helped firefighters, fire spokesman Donnie Davis said.

    Temperatures in the 50s and 60s on Monday morning inhibited growth of the fire, which was burning east of Omak and north of Nespelem, Davis said.

    Meanwhile, the Okanogan Complex of wildfires stood at about 30 percent containment on Monday. Spokesman Bernie Pineda said rain and breezes cleared the smoky air.

    Over the weekend, fire officials in Chelan County told KIRO 7 News that they feel they have “turned the corner” in fighting the fires. On Monday, residents called the rain a "miracle."

    No more level three evacuations are in effect in Chelan County, but some level 2 and 1 orders remain. Click here to read more.

    <center>https://twitter.com/GaryKIRO7/status/638473970413518848</center>

    1 p.m.

    In Okanogan County
    , levels are changing rapidly. Emergency management released the following list around noon on Monday.

    Level 3 - Leave Immediately
    - Aeneas Valley
    - Crawfish Lake
    - Disautel - west to Omak
    - Kartar Valley
    - Moses Meadows
    - North of South Nanamkin on Hwy 21
    - South Fork Gold Cr. Rd
    - Tunk area

    Level 2 - Be Ready
    - Alta Lake
    - Buzzard Lake Rd
    - Chiliwist
    - Gardener Creek Rd at Ferry County Line
    - Gold Creek Rd.
    - Gold Creek Loop Rd.
    - Leader Lake
    - Middle, North Forks Gold Cr. Rds.
    - Nespelem and Nespelem HUDs
    - Owhi Flats
    - Pleasant Valley
    - South Nanamkin Creek - South to Cache Creek Rd turnoff on Hwy 21
    - Twisp River
    - Twisp River Drainage
    - West Fork Rd area of Salmon Creek, west of city limits

    Level 1 - Alert
    - Brewster
    - Carlton
    - Chesaw
    - Clarkston Mill
    - Colville Agency
    - Town of Conconully greater area
    - Havillah
    - Loomis
    - Malott
    - Mazama
    - Methow
    - Methow Valley north from Alta Lake to Ross Rd. north of Carlton
    - Molson
    - Okanogan
    - Omak
    - Omak Flats
    - Oroville
    - Pateros
    - Pine Forest Area
    - Riverside
    - State Frontage Rd outside Tonasket
    - Sun Mountain
    - Tonasket
    - Twisp
    - Twisp River Rd
    - Winthrop
    - Wolf Creek: All of the L Fork and the R Fork up to Green Meadows

    7:33 a.m.

    Those giant wildfires burning in the Omak area won't delay the start of school.

    Classes will start Tuesday as planned in the Omak School District.

    The Seattle Times reports that Omak schools have been fitted with "air scrubbers" to clear indoor air of smoke from the Okanogan complex wildfires.

    Air quality in and around Omak was considered "very unhealthy" Friday by state Department of Ecology standards.

    But school officials say air quality inside school buildings is greatly improved by the scrubbers. All outdoor activities, including sports and recess, will move indoors.

    Sunday

    4:00 p.m.

    Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews spent the weekend clearing burned trees and drainage ditches to get the highway open, according to Okanogan County Emergency Mangement.

    A memorial was held in Wenatchee, for the three fighters killed battling Washington wildfires.

    >> See highlights and video from the memorial here

    “I wish I could somehow pour every part of Tom into your hearts, so that you would know him too," said fallen firefighter Tom Zbyszewski's mother.

    <center>https://twitter.com/KIRO7Seattle/status/638089515597434880<center/>

    >> Watch Tom's parents speak in his memory

    Fire officials asked that those who were injured and are recovering -- are kept close to the hearts of the community.

    "Their lives continue to inspire us. … Death doesn’t end who they are."

    12:00 p.m.

    State Route 20/ the North Cascades Highway reopened this afternoon -- following fierce wildfires that closed the highway on Aug. 19.

    <center>https://twitter.com/KIRO7Seattle/status/638066563745251328<center/>

    Saturday, August 29

    9 p.m.

    The big concern on Saturday night for Chelan and Okanogan counties was whether strong winds would impact fires tearing across central Washington.

    Fire officials were concerned about heavy winds Saturday in Chelan and Okanogan Counties, where record-setting fires continue to burn.

    Along some fire lines, officials pulled back crews and equipment out of fear that fast-moving winds could prove dangerous.

    But as of Saturday night, officials said the wind didn’t move the fire in the way they expected.

    Saturday morning brought brief rainfall.

    Then, in the afternoon, winds picked up and residents began to worry.

    At a community meeting, though, the deputy incident commander in Chelan County told anxious residents they’d “turned a corner” and he believed the worst fire behavior in the area has passed.

    Still, officials warned that the area where fire was burning was so dry that the fires wouldn't be totally out until the area’s first major snowfall.

    The focus for many people in the area was the service for the three firefighters who died while battling the Okanogan complex of wildfires last week.

    It will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Toyota Center in Wenatchee, and a live stream will be on kirotv.com.

    11:00 a.m.

    Daniel Lyon, a firefighter injured in Twisp -- is alert and breathing and has been upgraded to serious condition in intensive care.

    He's had two successful burn surgeries. More surgeries are planned, but Harborview Medical Center said Saturday that Daniel was improving.

    <center>https://twitter.com/KIRO7Seattle/status/637680822208872448<center/>

    The Okanogan Complex fire was around 23 percent contained -- up from 12 percent Friday.

    Total acres burning in Okanogan County is 302,225 acres as of Saturday morning with 23 percent contained. 

    Friday, August 28 updates

    2:15 p.m.

    Another Level 3 evacuation order has been issued -- for Highway 21 south of Highway 20. This includes the following roads: Country Place, Marblemount Place, Adams Road, Penny Lane, Eagle Track Road, and Pendry Road.

    Level 3 means conditions present "specific and immediate threat(s) to the life and safety of the persons in this area."

    <Center>https://twitter.com/okanogandem/status/637372584783298560<center/>

    2:00 p.m.

    SR 155 is closed to traffic in both directions from MP 42 to MP 79, Omak to Nespelem at Omak due to fire activity.

    There is no detour yet available, according to Okanogan County Emergency Management.

    <center>https://twitter.com/KIRO7Seattle/status/637371481438199809<center/>

    1:30 p.m.

    New evacuations have been advised for Okanogan County.

    Level 3 evacuations newly listed, per Okanogan County Emergency Management.

    “North, Middle and South Forks of Gold Creek and Gold Creek Road are asked to leave immediately. Use Highway 153 and head towards Twisp and Pateros.”

    <center>https://twitter.com/okanogandem/status/637359284288794625<center/>

    9:30 a.m.

    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 on Friday morning, after windy conditions Thursday pushed the fire on a couple of runs. It is only 12 percent contained.

    <center>https://twitter.com/KIRO7Seattle/status/637309048212312064</center>

    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.

    5:30 a.m.

    Concerns over how the weather will affect Okanogan fire zones continues to worry residents.

    The National Weather Service issued a red-flag warning on Thursday for the fires near Okanogan, saying weather conditions had the potential to spread the flames.

    "All the lines are holding," Bernie Pineda, spokesman for the 450-square-mile fire, said Thursday afternoon.

    He said winds were actually pushing portions of the giant fire back on itself. The warning is in effect for Saturday at 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Omak to Spokane.

    Heading into the weekend, wind could be a big problem.

    A high wind watch is out for northern Washington east of the Cascades on Saturday.

    High Wind Watch out for northern Washington east of the Cascades on Saturday.  Winds from the southwest could hit at 20 to 35 mph and gusts at 40-60.

    Last year’s Carlton Complex fires saw huge flash floods and mudslides from a big thunderstorm.

    A NOAA meteorologist told KIRO 7 it could occur with as little as a quarter inch of rain.

    While he says rain is good and could help -- the ground has just been so dry -- water doesn't simply just soak into the ground.

    Thursday

    7:22 p.m.

    Daniel Lyon, the firefighter injured near the Twisp, wildfire underwent a second successful burn surgery earlier this week at Harborview Medical Center. He remained critical, but stable in intensive care Thursday night. The family said through a hospital spokeswoman they appreciate the continued support.

    2:54 p.m.

    Severe fire hazard has prompted the Forest Service to close all National Forest lands north of Highway 2 on the Wenatchee River Ranger District to public entry.

    “This is not a decision that has been taken lightly,” said District Ranger Jeff Rivera.  “Our primary concern is for public and fire fighter safety.”  The closure will be lifted as soon as the unusual wildfire threat is abated, but rainfall predicted for this weekend probably will not be enough to end that threat, he said.

    The decision notice signed by Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest Supervisor Mike Williams is effective immediately. The forest closure includes all National Forest System lands on the Wenatchee River Ranger District north of Highway 2 except the higher elevation Pacific Crest Trail. The closure is prompted by the expansion of the Wolverine wildfire on the Entiat Ranger District just north of the Wenatchee River district, Rivera said. 

    2:28 p.m.

    The National Weather Service issued a red-flag warning for the Okanogan Complex of fires, saying the weather conditions had the potential to spread the flames Thursday afternoon.

    "The heat coming back on us early is going to be a problem," said Rick Isaacson, spokesman for the fire that grew to 450 square miles on Thursday.

    Heavy smoke that had grounded aircraft this week lifted a bit Thursday morning and helicopters were able to drop water on the flames, Isaacson said. Aircraft were expected to drop retardant in the afternoon.

    More than 1,150 square miles of Washington are on fire, nearly the size of Rhode Island, the state Department of Natural Resources said.

    1:30 p.m.

    As Washington and other Western states battle huge blazes this summer, two U.S. senators said at a field hearing in Seattle that more needs to be done to prepare for and help prevent future wildfires.

    The Wildland Fire Management Act would establish community plans to reduce the risks of fires, while also aiming to increase the country's ability to fight major fires more effectively.

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources heard from a variety of people at its meeting in Seattle Thursday, from county officials to people concerned about firefighter saftery.

    Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington, said every dollar spent on wildfire prevention saves $1.70 in fire suppression costs.

    Sen. John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, said the country needs to focus less on fire suppression and more on providing the tools needed to help communities prevent fires in the first place.

    Meanwhile, firefighters and evacuees fight in Chelan and Okanogan counties.

    <center>https://twitter.com/JoeKIRO7/status/636997243589955584</center>

    12:30 p.m.

    The Okanogan County fires continue to burn at about 280,000 acres at 18 percent containment.

    Thursday afternoon will be gusty, but a tenth of an inch of rain may come in over the weekend.

    Last year’s Carlton Complex fires saw huge flash floods and mudslides from a crazy thunderstorm, and KIRO 7 is working to learn if that is a possibility again.

    A NOAA meteorologist told KIRO 7 it could occur with as little as a quarter inch of rain.

    While he says rain is good and could help -- the ground has just been so dry -- water doesn't simply just soak into the ground.

    <center>https://twitter.com/KellyKIRO7/status/636994364221358080</center>

    <center>https://twitter.com/KellyKIRO7/status/636998223018786816</center>

    11:20 a.m.

    Gov. Jay Inslee is heading to the fire lines to thank crews battling the huge blazes that have burned in Washington state this year.

    Speaking in Chelan Thursday before travelling to meet firefighters, Inslee said the crews from Washington, other states and abroad are "exhausted" but "so committed" to the work they are doing.

    "[The wildfires are] not just a local fire, it's a statewide slow-motion disaster," he said.

    Major General Bret Daugherty, who commands the Washington National Guard, was travelling with Inslee. He said as of this week there were about 1,000 guard troops helping firefighting efforts, including 200 people on the fire lines. Daugherty says authorities hope better weather will aid efforts.

    The numerous wildfires burning in Washington state cover about 1,144-square miles of land - an area nearly the size of Rhode Island.

    <center>https://twitter.com/NatashaKIRO7/status/636948698019328000</center>

    9:30 a.m.

    The numerous wildfires big and small burning in Washington state cover about 1,144-square miles of land.

    That's according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

    That means an area nearly the size of the state of Rhode Island, which covers 1,200-square miles, was burning in Washington on Wednesday.

    The fires are located in many areas of the state, but the majority of the big ones are in northeastern Washington, from Okanogan County east to Pend Oreille County.

    The biggest fire is the Okanogan Complex, which at nearly 438 square miles on Wednesday is the largest in state history. Three firefighters have died fighting that blaze.

    <center>https://twitter.com/JoeKIRO7/status/636911608057360384</center>

    8: 30 a.m.

    Governor Jay Insless is touring the damage from wildfires in Chelan County.

    <center>https://twitter.com/NatashaKIRO7/status/636930983938252801</center>

    6:30 a.m.

    Some Lewis County residents are under Level 1 evacuations for wildfires.

    The sheriff's office issued a Code Red notification for the people living in the area of Pleasant Valley Road near Mineral.

    They say the Alder Lake fire has reached a level 1 evacuation trigger. This means that danger exists and residents should begin making arrangements to evacuate.

    Evacuations at this time are voluntary.

    If the fire advances to level 2, residents will receive further evacuation notification. Shelter will be setup in the Morton area at that time.

    5:15 a.m.

    KIRO 7's Jesse Jones is helping fill one of the biggest needs in the fire zone: gas cards.

    People in Okanogan County are driving dozens of miles a day, in and out of smoke-choked areas. One man told KIRO 7 he was driving up to 200 miles a day.

    Jesse will be collecting donations at the Commons on Federal Way, near the centerance to the Century Theater until 10 a.m.. From Noon to 2 p.m., he'll be near the front of the Everett Mall.

    You can bring donations to KIRO 7 News studios until 5 p.m. Click here for more details on JesseJones.com.

    <center>https://twitter.com/KIRO7Seattle/status/636885127159787520</center>

    5 a.m.

    Concerns remain Okanogan County, as firefighters fear parts of the Okanogan Complex could merge with the North Star fire.

    A wildfire about 70 miles southwest in Okanogan — the largest blaze ever recorded in the state — grew to nearly 438 square miles and heavy smoke also grounded air resources, The Associated Press reports early Thursday morning.

    Watch coverage with Rob Munoz in Omak by tuning into KIRO 7 News or by clicking the link here.

    Wednesday

    12: 50 p.m.

    Seattle City Light crews will work to reduce the risk of additional damage to the Skagit Hydroelectric Project from the advancing Goodell Creek Fire with transmission capacity losses from damaged lines costing $100,000 a day.

    12:01 p.m.

    Okanogan Emergency Management released the following evacuations list on Wednesday afternoon:

    Level 3

    • Aeneas Valley
    • Pine Forest
    • Twisp River
    •  Twist River Drainage
    • Wolf Creek-All of Left Fork
    • Right Fork to Green Meadows

    Level 2

    • Buzzard Lake Rd. Chiliwist
    • Conconully
    • Gardener Creek Rd at Ferry County Line
    • Leader Lake
    • Pleasant Valley
    • Twisp, Winthrop
    • Loomis, West Fork Rd area of Salmon Creek, west of city limits

    Level 1

    • Alta
    • Brewster
    • Carlton
    • Chesaw
    • Clarkston Mill
    • Havillah
    • Malott
    • Mazama
    • Molson
    • Okanogan
    • Omak
    • Omak Flats
    • Oroville
    • Pateros
    • Riverside
    • State Frontage Road
    • Tonasket

    11:45 a.m.

    The Kettle Complex of three fires burn in Ferry County, Washington.  As a result, they have ordered mandatory evacuations of some rural areas. Scroll down for evacuation information.

    • Stickpin fire is estimated at 48,381 acres at 20 percent contained.
    • Renner Fire is around 11,126 acres and is 15 percent contained.
    • Roy Road Fire is west of Republic and 80 percent contained.

    For emergency information on the Kettle Complex, click here.

    11:33 a.m.

    In Newport, Washington, fire officials have merged the Tower Fire, Baldy Fire, and four other fires into the Kaniksu Complex, KHQ reports.

    10 a.m.

    Firefighter will move to different camps today.

    Firefighters with Oregon-based Grayback Forestery rested at a camp on Tuesday before their first day fighting fires in Washington state after battling blazes in California for the past three weeks.

    <center><div id="fb-root"></div><script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/KIRO7Seattle/posts/1059471027405983" data-width="300"><div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><blockquote cite="https://www.facebook.com/KIRO7Seattle/posts/1059471027405983"><p>Firefighters resting -- before their first day fighting fires in Washington state after battling blazes in California...</p>Posted by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/KIRO7Seattle">KIRO 7 Eyewitness News</a> on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/KIRO7Seattle/posts/1059471027405983">Wednesday, August 26, 2015</a></blockquote></div></div></center>

    9:12 a.m.

    Firefighters battling a 262-square mile wildfire near the town of Republic plan to ignite a back burn a couple of miles west of the Ferry County town to slow the advance of the flames.

    As a result, they have ordered mandatory evacuations Wednesday of some rural areas west of the town in the vicinity of the back burn.

    The Ferry County Sheriff's Office says only a few rural homes and some campsites are covered by the evacuation notice.

    Fire spokesman Donnie Davis says the cause of the fire remains under investigation, and that it is burning in timber and grassland between Republic and Nespelem.

    Davis says air quality is poor because of an inversion in the area.

    9 a.m.

    A level 3 evacuation order is in effect for North Star Fire in Okanogan County,

    • Copper Lakes/Copper Mountain
    • Area
    • Mikray Place
    • Mule Deer Road
    • White Tail Flats Road
    • Roby Ridge Road
    • Eddy Road
    • Swan Lake Road S

    4:30 a.m.

    As the largest complex of fires in state history burns, firefighters fear two massive fires could merge on Wednesday in Okanogan County as winds pick up.

    Those winds may drive haze back to Seattle, and Omak could become the front line in battling the Okanogan Complex, which surpassed the Carlton Complex in size earlier this week.

    KIRO 7's Rob Munoz is in Okanogan, and reporting this morning on KIRO 7 News. Click here to watch

    4:10 a.m.

    Massive wildifires in Washington , with some deadly, have led to poor air quality across the region, causing respiratory problems for people far from the fire lines as well as grounding firefighting aircraft.

    "It's been a nightmare to breathe," said Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers in Washington state.

    Conditions were starting to improve Tuesday and Rogers said he could see the sun for the first time in a week.

    That sun brought more heat to Washington, where firefighters kept a wary eye on rising temperatures and winds that threatened to expand the Okanaogan Complex, which is already the largest wildfire on record in the state in Okanogan County.

    Tuesday, Aug. 25

    9 p.m.

    Here are the revised evacuation level areas in Okanogan County from emergency management: 
    LEVEL 3 
    Aeneas Valley, Pine Forest, Twisp River Road, Twisp River Drainage, Tunk Area, Wolf Creek - All Left Fork & Right Fork to Green Meadows Subdivision.

    LEVEL 2
    Buzzard Lake Road, Chiliwist, Conconully, Leader Lake, West Fork Area of Salmon Creek, Winthrop, Twisp, Pleasant Valley, Loomis, Gardener Creek Road in Ferry County.

    LEVEL 1
    Brewster, Carlton, Chesaw, Clarkston Mill, Havillah, Malott, Mazama, Molson, Okanogan, Omak, Omak Flats, Oroville, Pateros, Riverside, State Frontage Road, Tonasket.

    7 p.m.

    Fire crews prepared for the worst getting ready to make a stand and defend homes along Crawfish Lake in Okanogan County.

    As they worked cutting low hanging branches around homes and clearing brush, Ron Botchek worked to get out.

    “Hopefully we’re not going to have to worry about the fire,” said Botchek. “But boy, you don’t just don’t know. It’s closing in.”

    Crawfish Lake is in the mountains above the Tunk Valley, an area hit hard when the Okanogan Complex fire flared into the largest blaze in state history.  Now crews are worried two separate fires that make up part of the larger blaze will combine, targeting dense forest and homes surrounding the lake.

    <center>https://twitter.com/KevinKIRO7/status/636353300678348800</center>

    2:08 p.m.

    The total acreage in the Okanogan Complex fire has increased to 258,339 acres, and there are 1,345 personnel battling the wildfires. Here's the acreage breakdown by fire as of Tuesday afternoon:

    • Twisp River: 10,503 acres                                        
    • Lime Belt/Blue Lake:  109,706              
    • Tunk Block: 133,410 acres                                                                       
    • Beaver Lake: 25,956 acres
    • Nine Mile: 4,720 acres

    2:03 p.m.

    The Washington National Guard reports nearly 850 members are supporting efforts in Washington wildfires.

    <center>https://twitter.com/WANationalGuard/status/636282862342311936</center>

    1:33 p.m.

    A Seattle City Light spokesman said six transmission towers at their facilities in Skagit County were damaged by heat from wildfires there. They have a team and materials assembled for repairs, but are waiting for the area to be safe to work in.

    1:15 p.m.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Goodell Fire in Skagit and Whatcom counties, Washington.

    Last week FEMA authorized funds for authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Twisp River Fire, burning in Okanogan County, Washington.

    12:30 p.m.

    As of early Tuesday afternoon, out of control fires in Washington grew to 680,000 acres across the state.

    <center>https://twitter.com/dficonsumers/status/636206454081368064</center>

    The National Weather Service issued a red-flag warning for the Okanogan County area, saying temperatures were expected to climb into the 90s as humidity dropped and winds gusted to 20 mph.

    "Hot, dry and unstable conditions will create an environment conducive to increased growth on existing wildfires," the Weather Service said in its warning.

    Later in the week, the forecast offered the potential for light showers and thunderstorms in Okanogan County.

    9:30 a.m.

    The Okanogan fires, which have claimed the lives of three firefighters, grew by 2.6 square miles on Monday night and have now burned 403 square miles. A total of 1,345 people were battling the flames.

    KIRO 7's Joanna Small rode along with officials as they started to get a count of homes destroyed. As of Tuesday morning, 40 homes were in the count.

    <center>https://twitter.com/JoannaKIRO7/status/636216213618561024</center>

    <center>https://twitter.com/JoannaKIRO7/status/636229519465037824</center>

    8:01 a.m.

    Okanogan Emergency Management released the following evacuations list on Wedneaday morning:

    Level 3:

    • Aeneas Valley
    • Twisp River Road
    • Tunk Area
    • Chilliwist Valley
    • West Fork Road area of Salmon Creek, west of Conconully town limits

    Level 2:

    • Conconully
    • Loomis area
    • Twisp
    • Winthrop
    • Gardner Creek Road (near Republic)

    Level 1:

    • Havillah
    • Tonasket
    • Clarkston Mill
    • State Frontage Road
    • Carlton
    • Chesaw
    • Malott
    • Mazama
    • Molson
    • Omak
    • Oroville
    • Pateros
    • Brewster
    • Okanogan
    • Riverside
    • Omak Flats (south of Epley & Bide-a-Wee)
    • Omak Flats/Green Acres (North)
    • Talbert Loop Road
    • Pogue Road, Danker Cutoff, & all areas west of Conconully Hwy to Epley Road
    • All Johnson Creek Road to Highway 97 including Green Acres Road.

    There is a Red Flag (Fire Weather) Warning in until 9 PM Tuesday, so all areas should remain alert to changing fire conditions and evacuation levels.

    6: 30 a.m.

    The Okanogan Complex, now the largest complex of fires in state history and still growing, endangers 5,000 homes. It is only 10 percent contained.

    Meanwhile, Australian and New Zealand firefighters have arrived in the United States -- to help battle wildfires burning in several western states.

    The 71 firefighters from Australia and New Zealand picked up equipment Monday at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, before heading out to help a ground campaign led by firefighters from across the West and augmented by U.S. soldiers.

    <center><div id="fb-root"></div><script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/KIRO7Seattle/posts/1058911927461893" data-width="300"><div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><blockquote cite="https://www.facebook.com/KIRO7Seattle/posts/1058911927461893"><p>INTERNATIONAL HELP: Australian and New Zealand firefighters have arrived in the United States -- to help battle...</p>Posted by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/KIRO7Seattle">KIRO 7 Eyewitness News</a> on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/KIRO7Seattle/posts/1058911927461893">Tuesday, August 25, 2015</a></blockquote></div></div></center>

    4 a.m.

    Fire victims are still trying to figure out what to do as thousands of animials are threatened in Okanogan County.

    Click here to read wildfire coverage from previous days. This is best viewed from a desktop computer or iPad-- load times may be a problem on the KIRO 7 mobile app because of the story size.



    The Associated Press contributed to this report

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