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August 16, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Wildfire update: biggest fire almost entirely contained

UPDATE, 1:50 p.m. |  After several days of rain and cooler weather, the campfire ban for camp sites in Lake Chelan National Recreation Area has been lifted. The ban was implemented when resources for containing any escaped fire were severely taxed by the many fires burning in the vicinity.

For camping, hiking and fire information visit the North Cascades National Park website at www.nps.gov/noca.

ORIGINAL POST | Firefighters continue to battle the wildfires burning in Central Washington, and recent rain and lower temperatures are helping. Here’s the status.

The Carlton complex fire, which started July 14, and quickly became the state’s largest wildfire, is now 96 percent contained, spreading over 400 miles. The interior of the fire continues to smolder, but no structures or infrastructure are immediately threatened. Since the start of the fire, 322 single residences have been destroyed.

Level 1 evacuations remain in effect above the bridge at the junction of East Chewuch Road and West Chewuch Road. This area is also closed to entry on national forest lands because of the forest closure order.  Level 1 notification remains in place for Pine Forest, Sun Mountain, and for Twisp River Road above Elbow Coulee.

The Little Bridge Creek fire, 10 miles west of Winthrop, is 24 percent contained. The fire has burned about 7.5 square miles, threatening 500 structures.

The Upper Falls fire, 17 miles north of Winthrop, is 27 percent contained. The fire has burned about 12.5 square miles, threatening about 50 residential structures.

The Devil’s Elbow complex fire on the on the Colville Indian Reservation is now 30 percent contained and spans about 41 square miles.

Highway 21 in the vicinity of the Devil’s Elbow Fire is now completely open to the public. The East Sanpoil River Road will be open at noon Saturday, allowing the final mandatory evacuees to return to their homes.

The Snag Canyon fire burning 10 miles north of Ellensburg in Central Washington was last measured at almost 20 square miles, due to more accurate mapping, and as of Saturday morning the fire was 76 percent contained. It has destroyed 21 structures, including 10 residences. Fifteen people were injured, all of whom have been released from the hospital.

According to a release, lighting from previous days may have ignited new fires in the area, which could show up over the next several days.

All confirmed fires on the Umpqua National Forest in Oregon have been staffed or contained, the largest being approximately 3 acres. Firefighters and aerial resources continue to survey the area for smoke reports which had been diminished due to rain received earlier this week.

A warming and drying trend will continue into this weekend. A fire weather watch has been issued for a chance of lightning over portions of the Umpqua the beginning of next week.

For more information about the wildfires, go to Northwest Interagency Coordination Center.

A map is available here.

Related:

With wildfires increasing, how should we fund efforts to stop them?

How it happened: Lightning, wind and high, dry grass

Major wildfires in Washington since 1990

275 households told to flee Oregon wildfire

Photos: Wildfires in Washington

Comments | Topics: Carlton Complex, Central Washington, wildfires

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