Temps are up again. 104 degrees yesterday. But there are huge numbers of firefighters on our various fires, and lots of air support. Things appear to be well in hand, with us winning.
I couldn't resist any longer, so hopped on the motorcycle yesterday afternoon, when it was 104 out... And made a 200 mile round trip to personally see what the fire had done. The people up there in the Methow Valley are remarkable! With 300 homes lost... Yes, THREE HUNDRED HOMES BURNED, and about 400 square miles scorched by one of our several fires... They're already rebuilding! Even as the fires continue to burn. The Red Cross is up there in force, handing out supplies and providing shelter. The National Guard is out. 3000+ firefighters are there.
Photos as follows from yesterday:
One of about 30 homes lost in the small riverfront town of Pateros:
Witnesses said there was hardly any warning. Deputies yelling "get out, get out now" and "whirlwinds of fire" swept into the town, taking entire buildings in seconds.... Fortunately no lives lost there.
A home that survived, though it appears a barn was lost:
Big helicopters were in action, drawing water from the Methow River and dropping it on hot spots while I watched:
Roads and the river were firebreaks, and sometimes the fire passed right over both:
If you've a spare moment, please, a prayer for the good people of the Methow Valley. They need our support.
If you had any plans on completing the WABDR anytime soon, consider alternate routes that avoid the current fires and road closures. I think it might be dicey even next year as flooding & landslides could trouble the route when winter rains & spring snow melt plague the roads...