People throughout the Pacific Northwest have been poring through news reports on the firestorm that blew through the Okanogan County community of Pateros last Thursday night, perhaps unable even to imagine the horror of what that must have been like.

Outdoor columnist Rob Phillips doesn’t have to imagine it. He was there.

Phillips had spent the day fishing in the Columbia River near Brewster on Thursday, with plans to spend the night at a Pateros motel in expectation of another day of fishing Friday. The fire changed everyone’s plans, of course, and Phillips — along with everyone else at the motel and in town — had to make a hasty evacuation.

Phillips’ column this Tuesday will give readers his very personal view of that chaotic and very scary experience.

To get an idea of the devastation of the Carlton Complex fire in the Pateros and Brewster areas, check out the remarkable footage captured by a Chelan HD Productions drone.