Washington’s worst wildfire in history, the 250,000-acre Carlton Complex, torched more than just forest, rangeland, and homes. It also devastated Okanogan County crops, directly and indirectly. Consider:
- Shipments of perishable cherries went bad because fire trapped freight trucks.
- Power outages disabled pumps needed to water crops daily in the hot summer sun.
- Apples and pears, in particular, are being parched at a critical time.
- Orchard perimeters, though green, were scorched by flames, killing trees.
- Miles of fences burned down, giving deer and other animals access to crops they’ll now eat because their natural habitat was destroyed.
- Irrigation lines were ruined by flames.
Orchard-rich communities near the Columbia River like Pateros and Brewster, and the Methow Valley in general, could lack power for several more days. Learn more in this Wenatchee World article.