The Latest: Fire in Washington now largest in state history

The latest on wildfires in the West (all times local):9 a.m.

The massive fire burning in north-central Washington is now the largest in state history.

The Okanogan (oh-kah-NAH’-guhn) Complex of wildfires has surpassed last year’s Carlton Complex blazes.

Fire spokesman Rick Isaacson said Monday the Okanogan Complex was measured overnight at just over 400 square miles, slightly more than the Carlton fires, which also burned in Okanogan County.

The latest group of fires grew by more than 26 square miles Sunday and is expected to spread even more in coming days.

Isaacson called the record unfortunate and notes it’s only Aug. 24, meaning the fire could burn for several more months. Officials are still trying to determine how many homes and other structures have been burned.

About 1,250 people are battling the fires. Last week, three firefighters were killed and four injured near Twisp, Washington.—6:15 a.m. (PDT)

At least 400 homes remain threatened as crews increase containment of a wildfire burning through timber near a popular ski resort in Southern California’s San Bernardino Mountains.

Water cannons usually used for making snow were pointed at the fire burning near Snow Summit resort in Big Bear Lake, about 100 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

Firefighters working through the night held the blaze to about 100 acres. It is 30 percent contained early Monday.

The resort was open for mountain biking and scenic ski-lift rides before closing for the fire that broke out Sunday afternoon.

Evacuation orders are in place for up to 500 homes, many of them cabins and vacation houses.

All schools within the Bear Valley Unified School District are closed Monday. Several mountain roads are off-limits.—7:05 a.m. (MDT)

A wildfire smoke health advisory has been issued through 9 a.m. for northeastern Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued the warning for east of the Continental Divide and north of Interstate 70.

Officials cite haze and smoke from Pacific Northwest, where more than a dozen large wildfires are burning across central and eastern Washington state.

The department recommends limiting outdoor activity when moderate to heavy smoke is present, especially for vulnerable groups.

Cities affected by the advisory include Denver, Fort Collins, Greeley, Golden, Littleton, Brighton, Limon, Burlington, Fort Morgan, Sterling and Julesburg.

Source:: ap.org

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