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Washington Governor Asks For Cooperation With Fire Evacuation Requests

Smoke billows over US Highway 97 near Pateros, Washington, on Friday.
Washington State Department of Transportation
Smoke billows over US Highway 97 near Pateros, Washington, on Friday.

More than a dozen wildfires in eastern Washington and eastern Oregon continue to threaten homes and cause numerous road closures. Washington Governor Jay Inslee Friday asked residents near those fires to heed evacuation notices when issued.

Smoke billows over US Highway 97 near Pateros, Washington, on Friday.
Credit Washington State Department of Transportation
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Washington State Department of Transportation
Smoke billows over US Highway 97 near Pateros, Washington, on Friday.

"I know there is a desire to protect one's home and one's buildings," Inslee said. "But this is not a moment to push the envelope with garden hoses and the like."

Inslee says he is particularly concerned about the Carlton Complex, a fast-spreading blaze in north-central Washington's Okanogan County.

"This fire is so overpowering. Our forests are so dry. The winds are so fresh, that this is not a matter of assets," Inslee said. "There are not enough assets available in any dimension to stop the spread of this fire. So we have had to focus on personal safety."

At last report, that blaze has destroyed around 100 homes in the lower Methow Valley and around Pateros.

Inslee says the state has requested federal assistance to get more firefighting resources. The Washington National Guard is also putting troops on standby.

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network

Tom Banse covers national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reports from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events are unfolding. Tom's stories can be found online and heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.