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State Emergency Operations Center works to meet staffing and supply requests for fire response

The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Camp Murray is responding to multiple requests for fire-response assistance in eastern and central Washington.

There are approximately 3,000 people working in response to these fires responsible for burning over 300,000 acres. The fire destroyed more than 150 homes and structures and thousands of buildings are still at risk.

The Logistics Section at the State EOC has over 34 missions they are working on to meet the needs for this fire response. Need for equipment and staff ranges from flag tape to helicopters and liaisons to firefighters.

To date, the Carlton Complex Fire has burned over a quarter million acres in Okanogan County. Brewster, Pateros, Twisp, Winthrop and other communities in the county are temporarily powering water systems and sewer services on generator. Local water systems and the Department of Health are working together monitoring water quality.

While Okanogan County continues to be the hardest hit due to the sprawling Carlton Complex Fire, there are also wildfires burning in Chelan, Grant, Kittitas, Lincoln, and Spokane and Yakima counties.

  • More than 33,000 acres have burned in the Chiwaukum Complex Fire. This fire continues growing.

  • 11,000 acres are burned from the Watermelon Hill Fire in Spokane.

  • The Saddle Mountain Fire in Kittitas County demobilized at midnight on Sunday after more than 20,000 acres burned.

Other state activities

The Washington State Department of Transportation is working on keeping roads open. Find the latest on road closures and openings at http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts/default.aspx.

The Department of Commerce’s Energy Office says approximately 7,000 customers of the Okanogan PUD and Okanogan Electric Cooperative are without power. It’s estimated that power restoration for feeders along Interstate and state highways and from there into Pateros and Winthrop may happen by the end of the week. Estimates are that full restoration along county roads and to individual homes and businesses in Okanogan will take several weeks.

There are more than 100 Washington National Guard soldiers supporting Department of Natural Resources fire fighters. To date, Guard helicopters have dropped 521,000 gallons of water on fires.

 

Personnel from the Department of Health’s (DOH) Environment Public Health Division are consulting with wildfire-impacted counties about air quality and water quality issues. DOH is working with local water districts to notify customers whose water systems have been affected by power outages to boil available drinking water. The agency is also partnering with the Department of Ecology, analyzing and monitoring how smoke and ash are affecting air quality. They have also sent medical supplies to eastern Washington so local public health officials will have access to them in the event of a medical facility evacuation.

The Department of Agriculture is coordinating with other state and local agencies regarding disposal of debris from the fire. Additionally, they are working with organic farms regarding any pollution-related issues from the wildfires and fire response.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed proclamation 14-05 amending proclamation 14-04 and directing state agencies and departments to utilize state resources and do everything reasonably possible assisting in the response and recovery from the wildfires and instructing the Washington State Emergency Operations Center to coordinate all event-related assistance to affected areas.

 

Non-government agencies—The American Red Cross has shelters in Chelan, Omak and Winthrop and Brewster. The Red Cross and Southern Baptist Disaster Services have provided over 2,000 meals.

State agencies coordinate their support to the wildfire response through the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Camp Murray. The Logistics Section of the State EOC is processing requests for staffing and supplies for the fire response. State Emergency Management Division personnel began the process gathering information on damage and loss caused by the wildfires. This is the first step in requesting federal aid.

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