U.S. emergency officials say a massive wildfire in the northwestern state of Washington is growing unchecked and spreading in new directions, pushed by powerful, erratic winds.
Since last Monday, the lightening-sparked Carlton Complex, as it is called, has scorched about 870 square kilometers of dry timber and grasslands, downing phone and power lines and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people in the scenic Methow Valley north of the city of Seattle.
No serious injuries have been reported, but there is concern about several people whose whereabouts are not known.
The massive blaze is one of several major wildfires burning across the Pacific Northwest, which is suffering under hot, dry weather, gusting winds and lightning.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.