Cooler temperatures, lighter winds could help firefighters with Washington wildfires

The Associated Press
July 20, 2014 01:43 PM

Firefighters Alex Keller, left, and Jacey Mesteth sharpen their tools as they wait to be deployed to a fire line Saturday, July 19, 2014, in Winthrop, Wash. A wind-driven, lightning-caused wildfire racing through rural north-central Washington destroyed about 100 homes Thursday and Friday, leaving behind solitary brick chimneys and burned-out automobiles as it blackened hundreds of square miles in the scenic Methow Valley northeast of Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

WINTHROP, Wash. - Cooler temperatures and lighter winds are forecast to descend on a wildfire-stricken Washington state, helping firefighters battle flames that have covered hundreds of square miles.

National Weather Service meteorologist Greg Koch says Sunday's forecast calls for slight improvements. He says Monday and Tuesday should see marked improvement, however.

New estimates on Sunday put a fire in north-central Washington at more than 370 square miles. The fire was measured at 260 square miles Friday.

But while weather is improving, the towns in the scenic Methow Valley remain without power and have limited landline and cellphone service.

Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers estimates that destroyed structures will surpass 150 in number.


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