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Fire destroys 300 homes; some electricity returned, plus help is available

— The number of homes destroyed in the Carlton Complex fires has been revised to 300.

Okanogan County emergency operations and Assessor’s Office personnel checked burn areas Friday and came up with the revised count, Sheriff Frank Rogers said.

He said the Okanogan County Public Utility District has restored power to Pateros and Twisp, “well ahead of the most optimistic projections.”

Utility district lines, including the transmission line serving the Methow Valley, were damaged in the fires.

The Okanogan County Emergency Operations Center asked Tuesday for state assistance for additional staffing. The crew arrived on Wednesday and has been running non-stop since putting in 16-plus hours per day.

“We are very grateful for their expertise and assistance,” he said.

The Washington National Guard is assisting the Sheriff’s Office with patrols in the fire areas.

“They are currently working with my deputies patrolling the burned-out areas to check on those in the area. They have food and water with them and will stopping for those who need assistance,” he said.

Intermittent interruptions to land line and cellphone services continue, but are improving, he said.

He also cautioned victims to be aware of people who prey on victims “with diverse fraud schemes.”

He suggested contacting the state Office of the Attorney General, http://www.atg.wa.gov/fraudfighters.aspx, for tips on avoiding fraud.

People needing donations can contact the Emergency Operations Center. For donors, no clothing is needed, but head lamps, flashlights, batteries, work gloves, work boots, portable camp stoves, small generators and extension cords still are needed.

Cash donations can be made to Okanogan County Community Action Council, the Red Cross or other organizations. Donations for displace animals or emergency management expenses can be sent to the Sheriff’s Office.

People in need of hay or pet food for displaced animals can check at the Agriplex at the Okanogan County Fairgrounds, 175 Rodeo Trail Road, Okanogan, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

He said the Emergency Operations Center is acting as a referral point for people needing assistance with damage to homes, property, animals, livestock, irrigated land or other things.

“We have additional resources coming to the EOC next week which will be working to identify and assist fire victims. Please call us,” he said.

The center is staffed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and can be reached at 509-422-2408, 509-422-2420, 509-422-2422 and 509-422-2428.

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