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Washington's Carlton Complex fire more than 90 percent contained

A bear cub named Cinder, burned on all four paws in the Carlton Complex fire in Washington State, is being treated at a California wildlife center.
By Frances Burns   |   Aug. 8, 2014 at 4:37 PM
| License Photo
OKANOGAN, Wash., Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Crews continued mopping up Washington State's gigantic Carlton Complex fire Friday, working in 90-degree temperatures.

The perimeter of the fire near the confluence of the Methow and Columbia rivers in north-central Washington was reported to be 91 percent contained, with full containment expected next week. The fire, sparked by lightning July 14 as four smaller blazes, grew rapidly to the largest wildfire in Washington history and has charred more than 400 square miles.

More than 1,800 firefighters were participating in the effort. Officials said they were getting little help from the weather, with temperatures at 93 degrees and humidity at 12 percent.

"The fire is burning in timber and grass and in many parts of the fire it is burning in steep and difficult terain," officials said in a report posted on InciWeb.

The fire destroyed dozens of homes, including almost 100 in the hamlet of Pateros. The death of a man who had a heart attack while trying to save his home has been blamed on the fire.

One survivor of the fire, a 38-pound bear cub, is being treated at a California wildlife rehabilitation center. The female, given the name Cinder, was found earlier this week with severe burns on all four paws.

Cheryl Millham of the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care Center said Cinder was flown there because the center treated Li'l Smokey, a cub with similar injuries from a California fire, six years ago.

"We got Li'l Smokey the day after he was burned," Millham said. "That is why we got this one, because we are the only ones who worked on a bear cub with third-degree burns on all four feet."

Li'l Smokey was returned to the wild equipped with a radio transmitter and is known to have survived for at least two years. Millham said the transmitter's batteries gave out and believes the bear is doing "fantastic."

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