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Unmanaged areas were incinerated while managed areas remained green.
OMAK, Wash. – Mike McCann is used to pitching his tent among hundreds of others in a field. He’s used to waiting in line for dinner and a shower after a 14-hour day of firefighting, falling asleep to the drone of generators.
OMAK, Wash. – Wildfires need to be funded as the disasters they are, leaving critical fire prevention budgets in place for thinning dense forest stands, rehabilitating areas after wildfires and making sure communities are more resilient to fire. That was the main message from U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, who visited the North Star and Tunk Block fire camp in Omak on Monday for a briefing from fire commanders.
DANVILLE, Wash. – The burned carcasses blend into the scorched landscape, just more black and ash among the haunting outline of trees. “There she is,” rancher Doug Grumbach says, pointing up the steep slope near his ranch. “It looks like she was trying to run and froze in that mode.” The cow is now obvious: A perfectly shaped head, a body covered in skin that’s become cured leather – taut and solid like a drumhead. She’s upright, wedged between two burned trees, ribs exposed, a flurry of maggots working furiously. Her calf lies in a heap nearby.
The massive fire marching toward Republic, Washington, stayed out of the town on Saturday. “I don’t see any flames coming over the top of the hill,” Republic City Councilman Larry Heming said late Saturday afternoon. “I’m happy.”
The largest bursts of wind have blown through Republic, and fire remained out of the town late this afternoon.
A ferocious wind storm expected Saturday has put much of the state – much of it already on fire – on high alert.
New mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for areas near the North Star Fire and Okanogan Complex.
After a week of deadly fires forcing evacuations of whole towns and pushing fire officials to scramble for more help, Saturday was calm. Or as calm as it could be with more than 600 square miles of the state scorched or on fire.