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Fire Evacuees In Pateros, Wash. Await Information On Their Town's Fate

About 80 people woke up in a Red Cross shelter in central Washington Friday morning after a wildfire forced the town of Pateros to evacuate overnight. Initial reports are that 40 homes and a church have burned in the small town on the Columbia River.

Another 20 to 30 people in campers and RVs stayed in the evacuation shelter parking lot in Chelan. Red Cross spokeswoman Megan Snow says for now, the evacuees just have to wait.

“They're waiting for information — if road closures open again,” Snow said. “They'll be waiting to see when they're allowed back to assess what's going on at their homes, in their town. Especially for a town of that size, we're talking about a huge percentage of the population who's going to basically have to start over.”

Thursday night, the Red Cross had to evacuate its original shelter in Pateros when flames from the wind-whipped fire bore down. The Carlton Complex of fires has burned thousands of acres in Washington's Methow Valley.

Inland Northwest Correspondent Jessica Robinson reports from the Northwest News Network's bureau in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. From the politics of wolves to mining regulation to small town gay rights movements, Jessica covers the economic, demographic and environmental trends that are shaping places east of the Cascades.

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