Saturday, July 19, 2014

Facebook friend’s life affected by Oregon/Washington wildfires

Note:  In my original post, I mistakenly said my Facebook friend, Marsha Rumbarger, moved to Oregon; she actually moved to Omak, Washington.

Washington State wildfires, photo public domain.
My Facebook friend Marsha Rumbarger recently moved to Omak, Washington. Her status update a few hours ago brought home the ferocity of fires raging in her area. Marsha wrote:

“No Internet, cable tv or landline due to damage to cables from nearby wildfires. Glad i have my Smart phone. Craig Moen and i also just purchased an antennae so we can get the news. Maybe this will be the end of our cable.”

Marsha’s dilemma prompted me to check out the online news coverage of the Washington, Oregon wildfires. The LA Times reports:

A wildfire in north-central Washington, which has already destroyed 83 homes and threatens at least 150 more, continued to burn unchecked Friday, fire officials said.

The Carlton complex fire, located near the town of Twisp, has burned nearly 170,000 acres and forced the evacuation of between 300 and 500 homes, according to the Okanogan County Sheriff's Office. It is one of the two largest fires among at least 20 raging across Washington and Oregon.

The Buzzard complex fire outside Burns, Ore., is the largest, having grown to more than 270,000 acres. Carol Connolly, a spokeswoman for the Northwest Coordination Center, which oversees emergency response to large fires in both states, said the Buzzard fire had destroyed two homes so far.

Fifteen wildfires in Oregon and five in Washington, nearly all of which started as a result of a lightning storm that moved through the region last weekend, have burned roughly 540,000 acres, forcing evacuations and drawing thousands of rescue personnel to the area.

More than 360,000 acres have burned in central and eastern Oregon while about 180,000 acres have burned in northern and central Washington, Connolly said. All 20 fires have been fed by recent wind gusts of up to30 mph and hot, dry weather, she said.

No fatalities or major injuries have been reported, but several firefighters have suffered minor injuries and hundreds of homes have been threatened, Connolly said.

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