Man jumps into lake, survives firestorm

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RIVERSIDE, Wash. — The Okanogan Complex fire burned more than 220,000 acres by Saturday morning.

Friday’s heavy winds pushed the flames into new areas where more than 5,100 residents were under evacuation notices.

Mark Desdier defied evacuation notices and chose to protect his home, but he suffered serious injuries and had to flee advancing flames.

“It went from 20-mph winds to 40, 50-mph winds like that, “he described.

Desdier took shelter in a nearby lake until for more than an hour. He said firefighters took him to a local hospital.

“I’ve got third degree burns from my elbow to my hands,” said Desdier.

On Saturday Mark and his wife Toni trekked back into the burn zone and discovered their home had survived, but many of their neighbor’s homes did not.

“I’m in utter shock,” Toni said. “How can I be that fortunate when everything else is going on?”

Firefighters have contained the Okanogan Complex fire by 38% Saturday morning.

Red flag warnings are expected for much of central and eastern Washington beginning Sunday through Monday.

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