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August 23, 2013 at 8:52 PM
Cooler temperatures and wet weather have slowed the growth of several wildfires across the Northwest.
However, that did not seem to be the case for the fire at Manastash Ridge outside of Ellensburg. After an aerial evaluation, the fire was estimated at 1,400 acres and zero percent contained late Friday, a spokesman said.
Glenn Kohler, a spokesman at the Manastash Ridge Fire, said five new small starts have popped up near Highway 12 around Rimrock Retreat and Oak Creek Wildlife area.
On Saturday morning, crews from the Conrad Lake Fire, which has burned nearly 1,000 acres but remained at 25 percent containment Friday, will join those at Manastash Ridge as the Conrad Lake force is downsized.
The Conrad Lake fire was in a “monitor phase” Friday night, spokeswoman Karen Lipley said. Because it had not spread, about a fourth of the crew will either go home or head to Manastash Ridge, she said.
Neither fire is threatening any homes or other structures.
The rain and lower temperatures slowed the Eagle Fire outside Leavenworth overnight Thursday to give crews the upper hand in defending homes on the fire’s southern edge along Eagle Creek Road.
By this morning, strike teams had cleared brush and other flammables to create a 200-foot buffer to defend more than 60 homes and outbuildings beyond milepost 3 in the steep-sided valley.
Growth has also slowed on that wind-whipped wildfire in the Columbia Gorge after overnight thunderstorms dropped a tenth of an inch of rain.
But the new moisture and high humidity also meant firefighters could not conduct burnouts Friday to strengthen fire lines on the western front of the Government Flat Complex.
The fire has grown to 18 square miles and moved about three miles into the Mount Hood National Forest. The fire is 20 percent contained and continues to draw more firefighters, which now number more than 1,000.
No more structures have burned, but evacuation orders remain in effect for scattered rural residents on the northern flank of Mount Hood in an area about 10 miles southwest of The Dalles.
August 23, 2013 at 8:02 AM
The Associated Press
LEAVENWORTH — Mandatory evacuations have been lifted for the wildfire burning near Leavenworth.
KPQ radio in Wenatchee reports the Eagle fire, which has burned nearly 2 square miles in steep terrain, is now 25 percent contained. The fire did not grow overnight, and rain was expected to help firefighters on Friday.
Much of Eastern Washington is under a red-flag warning for extreme wildfire danger, with a potential for thunderstorms throughout the region on Friday.
About 600 firefighters are assigned to the Eagle fire.
Another 70 firefighters are working the Manastash Ridge fire near Ellensburg, which has burned across more than 1 square mile. No structures are threatened.
Related story: Crews battle fires near Leavenworth, Cle Elum, Conrad Lake
August 22, 2013 at 3:59 PM
The Wenatchee World
LEAVENWORTH — The State Department of Transportation will close Highway 2 between Leavenworth and Coles Corner for a week, beginning Sept. 8, not Aug. 25 as originally planned.
The delay is necessary, because parts needed to build a new bridge over Drury Canyon Creek won’t arrive in time for the originally announced closure, a DOT official said Wednesday.
The closure will begin at 8 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 8 and continue through noon Friday, Sept. 13, a DOT news release said Tuesday.
A signed detour along Highway 207 and the Chumstick Highway will add a half-hour to the trip.
Large trucks weighing more than 26,000 pounds are prohibited on Chumstick Highway and must use Interstate 90, Snoqualmie Pass and Highway 97 over Blewett Pass, the news release said.
During the closure, recreationists bound for trailheads between Coles Corner and the Tumwater Campground may access those from the west.
From the Leavenworth side of the closure, those seeking access to climbing locations and trailheads will be allowed into the canyon as far as The Alps candy store, the news release said.
The Drury Canyon Creek Bridge is seven miles west of Leavenworth. It’s part of an $8.1 million project to replace three aged bridges in the canyon, add highway turning lanes, and eliminate a fish barrier where Skinny Creek passes under Highway 2.
The other two bridges, the Green Bridge and Chiwaukum Creek Bridge, were built alongside the old bridges, which will be demolished. Traffic interruptions were minimal.
August 22, 2013 at 11:44 AM
LEAVENWORTH (AP) — A wildfire burning near Leavenworth is about 10 percent contained, but firefighters are keeping a wary eye on temperatures expected to climb into the 90s.
The Eagle fire covers 1,186 acres and is located about 5 miles northwest of the Bavarian-themed village of Leavenworth.
Fire spokeswoman Robin DeMario said Thursday that about 30 homes remain under mandatory evacuation notices.
She says the fire has not burned any homes.
Fire crews used helicopters to drop water on the fire on Wednesday and made progress in containing the blaze.
DeMario says the hot and dry conditions forecast for Thursday could produce an increase in fire.
August 21, 2013 at 9:50 AM
The Associated Press
UPDATE: 1:45 p.m.| The latest on the wildfires in Washington state can be found here.
LEAVENWORTH — A ridge-top wildfire burning northeast of Leavenworth tripled in size overnight and residents of 30 nearby homes have been told to evacuate. Residents of another 35 homes have been told to prepare to evacuate.
Fire spokeswoman Robin DeMario said this morning the Eagle Fire has grown to more than 2 square miles, because of overnight fire activity and more accurate mapping.
No structures have been lost, but DeMario says the fire has burned to within a few feet of some homes. It is burning through grass and brush in some areas and timber in others.
Heavy smoke is drifting east toward Wenatchee and Cashmere.
About 300 people are fighting the wildfire.
August 20, 2013 at 11:38 AM
A fire burning near Leavenworth has grown from 40 acres to over 300 acres overnight.
No mandatory evacuations have been reported yet, but the fire has reached Eagle Creek Road, according to Dan Eldridge, a volunteer firefighter at Chelan County Fire District 3.
As of Monday night, more than 120 federal state and local firefighters were at the scene fighting the blaze, which was being pushed northeast by winds along Bjork Canyon, according to a release from Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
August 19, 2013 at 10:49 PM
About 120 federal, state and local firefighters fought a 40-acre fire near Leavenworth in Chelan County Monday.
The cause is unknown, according to a release from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. The wildfire is being pushed to the northeast by winds along Bjork Canyon and away from structures along Eagle Creek Road Monday afternoon.
Nevertheless, the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents on Eagle Creek Road that they might need to evacuate if the fire gets closer.
Officials are asking people to avoid Eagle Creek Road, and they’re saying residents should use Derby Canyon Road to exit the area.
Teams from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Forest Service and Chelan County Fire Districts 3, 6 and 9 were using an air tanker, two helicopters, six smokejumpers, four rappellers, five fire engines, one bulldozer and two 20-person crews to quell the blaze. Additional resources were being ordered, including another bulldozer and other engines, the release said.
August 19, 2013 at 5:46 PM
The Associated Press
LEAVENWORTH — The Chelan County sheriff says a 17-year-old Leavenworth boy was fatally injured in a weekend accident while riding an all-terrain vehicle.
Sheriff Brian Burnett said Monday that Mark D. Clark was riding the ATV on Sunitsch Canyon Road in Leavenworth when he apparently lost control and was thrown against a tree, with the ATV rolling into him, causing neck and head injuries.
Medics pronounced the teen dead at the scene on Saturday.
The sheriff says the boy was not wearing a helmet
July 9, 2013 at 11:36 AM
Two children, one just 2 years old, were hit when their father, a Chelan County man, fired a shotgun near them last week in Leavenworth.
Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett said police were dispatched on a domestic disturbance call to Second Creek Road in Leavenworth around 8:45 a.m. July 5 where they found the 2-year-old boy with minor injuries to his head and shoulder and an 11-year-old girl with minor chest, arm and hand injuries.
The children were treated at a local hospital and released.
Burnett said officers arrested the 36-year-old father, who was reported to be heavily intoxicated earlier in the day when he threatened to kill the children as well as a woman in the house.
The woman was not injured.
The man is being held in the Chelan County Regional Justice Center on $500,000 bail on six counts of domestic violence and harassment.
March 7, 2013 at 9:32 AM
The Associated Press
LEAVENWORTH – An autopsy Wednesday showed that a Leavenworth ski and snowshoe resort owner suffocated under a large amount of snow that fell off a tree and buried him.
The Wenatchee World reports Chelan County Coroner Wayne Harris listed the cause of death for Don Hanson as a lack of oxygen.
The 65-year-old owner of Scottish Lakes High Camp was found Saturday evening under a large pile of snow that had fallen from a tree near the lodge.
Hanson had been reported missing by his wife who last saw him about 3 in the afternoon.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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