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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 2, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Shifting winds overnight provided welcome assistance for more than 800 firefighters battling the state’s largest wildfire, with officials hoping to complete a 30-mile line around the 80,000-acre Colockum Tarps fire today.
In other areas east of the Cascades, fire agencies welcomed a summer rain, but were closely watching for any new lightning-caused fires.
At midday Friday, residents were being allowed back into some of the areas the Colockum Tarps fire had threatened in Chelan County, while some areas in Kittitas County remained under evacuation.
At its peak, the fire threatened 100 homes in the two counties. Despite earlier reports that some homes had been lost, fire officials today said only three outhouses had burned. Aerial retardant drops were credited with saving dozens of homes.
The fire, which began last Saturday, had been fed by winds that pushed it up dry canyons on the Cascades’ eastern foothills. Within the last day, winds reversed direction, blowing the fire back toward areas already burned, said Cindy Bork, a spokeswoman for the Interagency Incident Management Team.
The weather also assisted crews at the state’s second-largest active fire, the 27,000-acre Mile Marker 28 fire northeast of Goldendale, Klickitat County, which began July 24. By Friday morning, crews had completed a line around the fire and were checking the fire’s perimeter with heat-detection equipment. Evacuated residents have been allowed to return.
Bruce Livingston, spokesman for the fire-management team, said some areas got up to an inch of rain and hail Thursday night and Friday morning, helping quell the fire in those spots.
Causes of both fires remain under investigation.
July 31, 2013 at 1:55 PM
WENATCHEE (AP) — Authorities in Central Washington ordered a new round of evacuations Wednesday near a surging wildfire, as firefighters worked to better control the blaze before thunderstorms swept through the region.
The fire danger was expected to remain high in Eastern Washington through Thursday amid the threat of lightning strikes from thunderstorms and gusty winds.
The Colockum Tarps Fire south of Wenatchee was burning across 93 square miles of grass, sagebrush and timber in Chelan and Kittitas counties, and winds from the east were pushing the blaze into timber to the west.
The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office ordered residents of about 75 homes and cabins to evacuate Wednesday, and several recreation areas were closed, fire officials said.
In addition, a horse and Bible camp with 40 horses and eight children was evacuated, the Ellensburg Daily Record reported.
The fire was about a half mile from the Wild Horse Wind Farm, which was closed to the public.
About 370 firefighters were working to control the blaze, which was 8 percent contained, fire officials said.
Near Goldendale, Klickitat County, firefighters gained ground on a blaze that had closed Highway 97 for days.
The Mile Marker 28 Fire was 60 percent contained. The Washington Department of Transportation reopened the highway Wednesday, with pilot cars leading vehicles through the fire area. Delays of up to one hour were expected.
Fire crews built a fire line around the fire, which burned about 35 square miles near Satus Pass, about 15 miles northeast of Goldendale, fire spokesman Dam Omdal said.
More than 1,300 firefighters were on the line mopping up hot spots and strengthening fire lines.
July 29, 2013 at 8:30 AM
The Associated Press
Fire officials say they are starting to get control over a large wildfire burning near Goldendale on top of Satus Pass.
Spokesman Randy Shepard of the interagency fire management team says the fire has grown to almost 32 square miles, but it is now about 25 percent contained. He says weather conditions are favorable for more progress on Monday.
He says fire officials are confident they will have a line around the fire within the next few days.
The fire covered about 27 square miles on Sunday and has been growing to the east through rough terrain. It’s about 7 miles from the small town of Bickleton, but Shepard says fire officials do not expect the fire to get near the village.
Highway 97 is still closed between Goldendale and Toppenish and will remain closed as long as necessary for safety reasons.
About 1,200 people are fighting the fire. A few more homes have been added to the evacuation notices but no structures have been destroyed. The fire threatens about 144 structures, including about 70 residences.
The cause of the fire remains unknown.
Meanwhile, a brush fire burning 20 miles south of Wenatchee has grown to more than 10 square miles.
The wildfire in the Colockum Pass area has burned five houses since breaking out Saturday.
A spokesman for fire managers, Rick Issackson, tells KPQ the five homes lost are in addition to other structures destroyed in the fire.
About 40 homes are threatened in the area residents have been evacuated, and the Red Cross has set up a shelter at a church in the city.
Fire crews continue to fight a third fire near North Bend where an 18-acre wildfire is burning on the south side of Mount Si. No structures are threatened by that fire.
July 28, 2013 at 9:10 AM
Still rocking: It’s the last day to get your fill of the thrill of the Capitol Hill Block Party, the three-day music madness taking place along Pike Street. Andrew Matson, The Times main Block Head, recommends these acts today: punk rockers Ubu Roi on the VERA stage at 2 p.m.; rap from ILLFIGHTYOU at Barboza at 4:45 p.m.; and more rap from Jarv Dee on the VERA stage at 6:30.
Still burning: Helicopters and ground crews were containing a 12-acre fire on Mount Si, but in other parts of Eastern and Central Washington, fires threatened homes and closed roads. About 1,200 firefighters were battling a blaze near Goldendale in Klickitat County, and a brush fire in Chelan County south of Wenatchee covered at least 1,00 acres.
Weather: It’s gray this morning, but we could see some sun this afternoon.
At the stadiums: Sports action in town today starts at Safeco Field at 1:10 p.m. when the Mariners try to get back into winning ways against the Minnesota Twins (the home team lost last night to the Twins, 4-0, the first shutout loss since June 19). Things move from baseball to soccer and to CenturyLink Field where the Seattle Sounders face Chivas USA at 8 p.m.
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July 26, 2013 at 1:38 PM
UPDATE, 8:07 p.m. | Fire spokesmen say nearly 180 homes are now threatened by a wildfire burning near Satus Pass in south-central Washington while east of Seattle, crews worked on a small wildfire just outside of North Bend, according to a report from the Associated Press.
The new fire on Mount Si, a popular hiking destination, was 50 percent contained by 5 p.m. Friday and had burned about two acres. Eastside Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief Bud Backer told KOMO-TV local fire engine companies responded before handing the fire over to the state Department of Natural Resources. A DNR helicopter has dropped water on the blaze and crews were able to create a hose line around it.
Spokesman Mark Grassel says the fire near Goldendale has burned 4,600 acres or about 7 square miles along the top of Satus Pass. No homes have been lost. Most of U.S. Highway 97 between Goldendale and Toppenish remains closed due to the fire
UPDATE, 2:11 p.m. | A wildfire outside of North Bend on Mount Si is growing and spreading into a wilderness area, according to Eastside Fire and Rescue.
Only a small portion of the fire is accessible from a road, and the fire is moving uphill away from that road.
The state Department of Natural Resources has a helicopter responding from Ellensburg, about 80 miles away.
No evacuations have been ordered.
ORIGINAL POST | A small wildfire began outside of North Bend on Mount Si on Friday afternoon, the same day that officials issued a burn ban for King County.
The one-acre fire caused concern because it was visible from Interstate 90, according to a spokeswoman for the state Department of Natural Resources.
July 26, 2013 at 11:03 AM
GOLDENDALE (AP) — A wildfire burning near Satus Pass doubled in size to about 4,600 acres, or about 7 square miles, a state Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman said Friday.
Firefighters are still trying to build lines to contain the fire that broke out Monday, burning grass, brush and timber, said spokeswoman Janet Pearce in Olympia.
One structure — not necessarily a home — has been lost, Pearce said. About 30 homes in the area are threatened, with some people evacuating.
Most of Highway 97 between Goldendale and Toppenish in south-central Washington, including Satus Pass, remained closed due to smoke and the danger of debris rolling off steep hillsides.
Pearce described fire conditions Friday as extreme.
The National Weather Service issued a red-flag warning for the danger in much of Eastern Washington, including areas around Goldendale, the Tri-Cities, Yakima, Walla Walla, Wenatchee and Moses Lake.
Firefighters had better luck with a fire that broke out Thursday in Okanogan County near Twisp. A quick response with seven engines and a helicopter had it contained Friday at just 5 acres, Pearce said.
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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