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Cooler temperatures and moderating winds helped firefighters make headway Sunday against a massive wildfire that has burned up to 150 homes and forced the evacuation of hundreds more residences.

More than 1,300 firefighters were battling the so-called Carlton Complex fire, about 120 miles northeast of Seattle, which had consumed an estimated 237,890 acres by late Sunday.

"Firefighters are working hard to take advantage of today's predicted quieter winds to help them get the remaining portions of the fire lined,'' incident Commander Bruce Holloway said in a statement. "hey are focusing near homes and communities where needed.''

Weather conditions for the early part of the week appeared positive, with some rain expected on Wednesday. But firefighters said that would be a mixed blessing, as it would bring a threat of lightning strikes in the tinder-dry region.

Earlier, authorities began allowing residents of towns that had been fully evacuated to return "to see what they lost," Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers told NBC News. One hundred homes were completely destroyed, and the towns of Winthrop, Twisp, Pateros and Mazama remained without phone and internet service on Sunday, according to NBC Seattle affiliate King 5.



— Elisha Fieldstadt