Better weather to aid in Washington wildfire fight

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A complex of fires in north-central Washington had burned about 379 square miles, making it the largest wildfire in the state since record-keeping started. Fire spokesman Andrew Sanbri says calmer winds and cooler temperatures are allowing firefighters to go on the offensive. The fire is just 2 percent contained.

At 243,000 acres, the Carlton Complex is larger than the 1902 Yacolt Burn in southwestern Washington in 1902 and is the largest recorded forest fire in state history.

Sanbri said firefighters plan to aggressively protect houses near Libby Creek by keeping the flames from jumping the waterway. Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers has estimated that 150 homes have been destroyed. The fire is being blamed for one death.

The fire has created smoky conditions and reduced air quality in much of eastern Washington and northern Idaho.

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