Firefighters hunkered down Saturday as winds gusted around the wildland blazes raging across North Central Washington, in at least one case forcing firefighters to withdraw to keep safe.
While some fires — including the Twisp River fire, which killed three firefighters Aug. 19 — are getting contained, officials worry other fires could be spurred on by the weekend weather. Meanwhile, a new fire sprang up Saturday morning in Columbia County.
With gusts of up to 60 mph, fire analysts Saturday were expecting “significant growth” on two fires — Tunk Block and Lime Belt — in the Okanogan complex, which is burning around the town of Omak and is now the largest fire in state history.
Sometime in the next few days, the Tunk Block fire is expected to merge with the North Star fire burning to the east, according to a federal government news statement on the fire.