Cost of Battling Washington Fire Tops $42 Million

Aug. 01--The cost of battling the largest fire in state history is now $42.6 million -- by far the costliest fire now burning in the nation.

"None of what we're doing here is inexpensive," said Pete Buist, a spokesman for the Carlton Complex fires in Okanogan County. "The DC-10 we used to drop retardant for half a day cost more than most fires can cost."

The next costliest fire nationally is the Chiwaukum Creek Fire northwest of Leavenworth, which has cost nearly $20 million in suppression costs so far.

There are currently 24 helicopters and more than 3,000 fire personnnel working on the Carlton Complex. Three of the six national incident management teams currently working fires in the U.S. are assigned to Chiwaukum and Carlton.

Reach Michelle McNiel at 509-664-7152 or Follow her on Twitter at @MichelMcNielWW.

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