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Carlton Complex fire now 82 percent contained

Jim Otis said he found his father's old sharpening stone in the rubble of his house in Pateros, Wash., destroyed by the Carlton Complex fire.
By Frances Burns   |   Aug. 4, 2014 at 11:54 AM
| License Photo
WENATCHEE, Wash., Aug. 4 (UPI) -- The Carlton Complex fire, the largest in the history of Washington State, was more than 80 percent contained Monday, fire officials said.

The blaze, which began in mid-July as four wildfires, scorched about 400 square miles in the Methow Valley in north-central Washington, destroying 300 houses and power lines in Okanagon County. In a report posted on InciWeb, officials said firefighters are now focused on mopping up in much of the fire area, although there are still concerns about it spreading.

The perimeter was 82 percent contained Monday morning.

Jim Otis lost his house in Pateros, a town of about 600 people near the point where the Methow River flows into the Columbia. He told KXLY-TV he is planning to move to Yakima in southern Washington.

Otis, like many residents of Pateros, had time to grab only a few things before he fled the fire. When he returned, there was almost nothing left.

"I did find my father's sharpening stone that he taught me how to sharpen knives with when I was like nine years old, so that was really nice to find there," Otis said.

Firefighters have been getting little help from the weather, officials said. On Sunday, bad thunderstorms made moving emergency vehicles difficult, while temperatures were forecast to be in the high 90s Monday and are expected top 100 on Tuesday, with low humidity.

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