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Posted: 6:08 p.m. Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wildfires force evacuation in Pacific Northwest



    Washington Wildfires photo
    Elaine Thompson
    A line of fire snakes along a hillside at dusk Friday, July 18, 2014, in Winthrop, Wash. A fire racing through rural north-central Washington destroyed about 100 homes, leaving behind smoldering rubble, solitary brick chimneys and burned-out automobiles as it blackened hundreds of square miles. Friday's dawn revealed dramatic devastation, with the Okanagan County town of Pateros, home to 650 people, hit especially hard. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    By Ben Levin

    Video transcript provided by

    The Pacific Northwest is usually the wettest part of the country — making its current nightmare all the more shocking. 

    "​The destruction left behind by a raging wildfire in north central Washington State." (via Fox News)

    It's been a historically dry summer in the Northwest, leading to some of the worst wildfires in the region's history. 

    "Fueled by whipping winds soaring temperatires and bone-dry conditions​." (via NBC)

    The fires were sparked by lightning strikes and have forced emergency declarations in Washington and Oregon. 

    The worst damage has hit small towns like Pateros, where The Seattle Times reports 100 homes have been destroyed. 

    "Josh Allen was turned away at a roadblock."

    "Probably the hardest thing I had to do. Knowing that your house is burning up." (Via CBS)

    Oregon Public Broadcasting estimates that 7,000 firefighters are trying to protect homes in the Northwest. 

    But as the fires enter their fifth day, it's only getting worse. The Spokesman-Review reports there is "zero containment" as strong winds whip the flames across rural Washington. 

    "Sean Killian came from Salem Oregon and just wrapped up a 16 hour day."

    "Really kind of have to just stand in awe. Not much you can do but just prepare." ​(Via KING)

    And with evacuation notices, families are scrambling out of their homes.  

    "Chasing off families with only what they could carry." 

    "It really looked like the cauldron of hell. Flames everywhere you look." (Via ABC)

    And Washington governor, Jay Inslee, stressed just how serious the situation is. 

    "This is not a moment to be pushing the envelope with garden hoses and the like." (viaKCPQ)

    As of Sunday afternoon, no injuries or deaths had been reported.