Our Northwest

Fruit farms suffer greatly in Carlton wildfire

Friday, August 1, 2014by  Jon Osterberg

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.

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