PATEROS A fire that started along French Creek several miles up the Methow Valley has burned southward into town, where several buildings burned Thursday evening.
A building on the Pateros Mall, the downtown commercial area, has burned, as have several mobile homes and houses across U.S. Highway 97 and up the hill toward the Methow.
A Red Cross shelter at Pateros School, 344 Beach St., has evacuated as flames push toward the school.
Power has been out for several hours.
Level 3 evacuation notices - indicating imminent threat - have been issued from Carlton to the Methow as the fire spotted ahead of itself.
U.S. Highway 97 is closed between Brewster and Pateros. State Highway 153, which goes up the Methow Valley to Twisp, and state Highway 20 from Loup Loup Pass to Finley Creek also are closed because of fires.
Four fires are burning between Winthrop and Pateros. Thousands of acres of trees, brush and grass have been consumed, as have several structures.
Firefighters from a state interagency team are on scene, as are crews from Douglas-Okanogan Fire District No. 15 (Bridgeport, Brewster, Pateros and lower Methow Valley), Okanogan County Fire District No. 3 (Malott, Okanogan, Omak), Fire District No. 8 (southwest Colville Indian Reservation) and Fire District No. 7), Chelan and Douglas counties and the U.S. Forest Service.
State mobilization was authorized Tuesday for the Stokes Road Fire near Carlton. That fire has since burned together with the Golden Hike Fire. A fourth fire is burning southeast of Winthrop and southward toward Twisp.