More than 100 people attended a public briefing at the Recreation Center in Lake Wenatchee last night. Fire officials were on hand to provide an update on fire activity in the area and to answer questions and discuss issues with the attendees.
Firefighters have had much success securing fire lines and limiting the spread of fires at the north and east ends of the complex that previously threatened homes in the Wenatchee, Cashmere, Entiat and Chelan areas. These fires include First Creek, Byrd Canyon, Canyons, Poison and Peavine fires. Last night, Evacuation Levels for Granite Falls and First Creek Roads in Chelan County were reduced from a Level 3 to Level 2.
Despite these successes, the dynamic fire situation continues to present challenges to firefighters. Fires have grown in size in the high country near Lake Wenatchee (Sears, Basalt and Maverick fires), in the upper Entiat River drainage (Klone and Pyramid fires), and Cashmere Mountain. Fires in the Table Mountain Complex have grown rapidly over the last few days, sending large smoke columns with burning embers north and east towards the Mission Ridge area. This extreme fire behavior prompted Chelan County Sheriff officials to issue Level 3 Evacuation Notices for Squilchuck and Mission Ridge Roads from the Wenatchee Heights Road south to the Mission Ridge Ski Area and including Halvorson Canyon and Hampton Road. Fire managers continue to work in close cooperation with the Type 2 team managing the Table Mountain Complex.
The Klone Fire continues to burn in heavy timber that has been affected by insects and disease. Shady Pass and Tommy Creek roads are still being prepped and cleared as contingency lines. Most fire activity was on the south end of the fire, backing off steep slopes. The sprinkler system installed around the recreation cabins continues to provide protection should the fire move in that direction. Additional resources have been moved from other fires to assist in the suppression effort on this fire. This fire is approximately 1,000 acres.
The First Creek Fire, located 10 miles west of Lake Chelan in Chelan County, is approximately 1,240 acres and 30% contained. It is burning in very difficult and steep terrain, but firefighters have had success building direct fireline, implementing structure protection, and constructing contingency lines. This fire is almost completely lined and crews will continue mop up efforts today. Evacuation levels have been reduced to a Level 2 for First Creek and Granite Falls Creek Roads.
The Pyramid Fire north of Entiat is estimated to be 40 acres in size. The fire continues to move slowly down slope. Fire line improvements along Entiat River Road and County Road 19 will continue.
The Incident Management Team continues to have initial attack responsibility for all wildland fires within Chelan County. Resources will be mobilized when there is a new start.
The area is extremely dry and conditions are right for rapid fire growth on existing fires and new fire starts. There is a ban on all outdoor burning in Chelan County, and on fires, campfires, or stove fires on all National Forest Lands within the Chelan, Entiat and Wenatchee River Ranger Districts.
The Incident Management Team would like to express appreciation to the community for your support and help in our efforts to suppress these fires. It is vital that the community cooperate with evacuations, road closures, and avoiding areas of high traffic for fire suppression.
"CLICK HERE" for Audio
"CLICK HERE" for Audio