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Wildfire Fight Continues in Northwest

A Neptune Aviation jet bomber
One of Neptune’s flock of firefighting aircraft. (Fullerton Photo)
The Carlton Complex of forest fires is now listed as the largest wildfire in Washington state history – and it’s still growing.

Over 1,600 firefighters are on the lines of the 245,000 acres fire – including Washington National Guard soldiers and, as of Monday, Montana National Guard soldiers and two CH-47 Chinook helicopters. Montana Governor Steve Bullock said the mutual aid Emergency Management Assistance Compact warranted the cross-state deployment.

Neptune Aviation, based in Missoula, has 10 planes fighting fires in a number of western states, including Washington and Oregon. (see photo)

One person has died in the Carlton fires. Burned power poles and lines have caused widespread power outages. Flames have destroyed over 150 homes in Washington so far. Smoke from the fires rolled into Western Montana last week, clearing somewhat on Sunday.

Fires are also burning in Oregon and Idaho, with a weather prediction of lightning strikes this week.

The Bitterroot National Forest is also bracing for possible lightning strikes, with fire danger now in the “high” category.

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