Growing wildfire empties small Wash. town

(File) (Justin Setterfield, Getty Images)
(File) (Justin Setterfield, Getty Images)
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Updated: 7/18 8:22 am

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A Washington sheriff says a small town and nearby hospital threatened by a wind-whipped wildfire have been evacuated, and the blaze has burned at least 35 homes in his county.

Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers says he's heard of no injuries from the Carlton Complex of wildfires.

The sheriff issued his highest evacuation notice Thursday for Pateros, a town of about 650 people along the Columbia River in east-central Washington. Residents drove south to Chelan. A hospital in nearby Brewster was evacuated as well, with the patients sent to Omak.

He said late Thursday night that the fire has reached Pateros.

The sheriff says he's been a law enforcement officer in the county for 30 years, and sheriff for 12 years, and this fire is the worst he's seen.

The Carlton Complex of fires has burned across at least 28 square miles of the scenic Methow Valley.

 

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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