Wind-driven wildfire burns 200 acres in Chelan County - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Wind-driven wildfire burns 200 acres in Chelan County

Photo Courtesy: Battalion Chief Brett Schafer, Chelan Co. Fire District Photo Courtesy: Battalion Chief Brett Schafer, Chelan Co. Fire District
Photo Courtesy: Battalion Chief Brett Schafer, Chelan Co. Fire District Photo Courtesy: Battalion Chief Brett Schafer, Chelan Co. Fire District
Photo Courtesy: Battalion Chief Brett Schafer, Chelan Co. Fire District Photo Courtesy: Battalion Chief Brett Schafer, Chelan Co. Fire District

WENATCHEE, Wash. - A brush fire in Chelan County 10 miles north of Wenatchee grew to approximately 200 acres in size overnight and forced the closure of a state highway along the Columbia River because of heavy smoke.  Battalion Chief Brett Schafer with the Chelan County Fire District told KHQ that as of 7:30 a.m. Tuesday the fire was only 30% contained and that containment area was along the fire's eastern edge.

More than 100 firefighters from Chelan and Douglas counties as well as the Washington Department of Natural Resources and US Forest Service were on scene fighting the fire with the help of helicopter air tankers which arrived in the area early Tuesday. Chief Schafer told KHQ that fire officials were hoping to get the Lake Entiat Fire under control before temperatures rose during the day making it a more difficult job for fire crews to control.

The Washington State Patrol and the Washington State Department of Transportation closed SR 97A for several hours early Tuesday morning but was partially reopened to traffic by 6:00 a.m. SR 97A runs along the Chelan County side of the Columbia River branching off from Highway 2/SR 97 before rejoining the main highway in Chelan.

The fire which was reported just before midnight quickly spread south burning at least 40 acres before fire crews were able to begin arriving on scene. The fire was at 30% containment at 200 acres and forced several evacuations early Tuesday morning. Fortunately fire dispatchers in Wenatchee say that no structures were damaged and that early Tuesday morning residents were being allowed to return to their homes.

Fire dispatchers tell KHQ that the initial fire report indicated that a blown transformer or transformer fire may have started the fire however fire crews on the scene hadn't yet been able to confirm that report.

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