The air is hard to breath as we walk up the gravel road. Smoke fills the air, obscuring the trees and mountains in the distance. It’s Aug. 25 and we’re about 10 miles south of Loomis, Wash. — one of several towns in the path of the Okanogan Complex Fire. It’s now the largest wildfire in Washington state history at more than 200,000 acres. Members of the Washington National Guard are checking to see how close the fire has come to our position. The smoke is an eerie yellowish color. It would almost look like fog if everything around us wasn’t bone dry, and if the air didn’t taste like ash. As we peer through the haze from a ridge, we can see a few embers from the fire. At first just one tree, then several. “OK, you can grab some pictures or video real quick,” Staff Sgt. David Vinton hurriedly tells me. “But we need to go.”
An interesting look at National Guard support for the firefighting effort in the Okanogan Complex Fire in Washington state. Read the whole thing.