Conconully man skips evacuation to keep town safe

He said he wanted to help crews fight the fire and watch over everyone's properties.

CONCONULLY, Wash. -- One man said he decided to skip evacuations to keep an eye on the property in the town and help firefighters when needed.

Blaine Anderson is a resident of Concunully and has recently become its self-appointed vigilante.

"Everybody else is worried about the fire. You only got a couple other people keeping an eye out," said Anderson.

Anderson evacuated with his family Thursday when the so-called Lime Belt fire threatened the whole town. But Anderson said he came back Friday to check on his house, and did not feel comfortable leaving again.

"I just decided to stay up here because I was stressed out about it," said Anderson.

Anderson stayed up until 3 a.m. Friday morning watching over Conconully.

"Making sure there's nobody coming up and stealing stuff," said Anderson. "Help out with the fire department if they need it."

The small size of the town is helpful for Anderson's patrols, but also means resources are fairly scarce. The Conconully Fire Department said they have a limited number of volunteers.

A last count, the Lime Belt fire had burned through 65,715 acres. It is currently unknown how many structures have been damaged due in that fire. The Lime Belt fire is part of the Okanogan Complex, which has now grown to more than 160,000 acres.


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