Firefighters gaining control of Chelan wildfire - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Firefighters gaining control of Chelan wildfire

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CHELAN, Wash. - A wildfire that had threatened more than 100 homes near Chelan laid down in cooler weather overnight.

A spokesman for firefighters at the Union Valley fire, Nick Mickel, told KOZI that firefighters will be mopping up Thursday.

The fire was started Tuesday night by a lightning strike and spread to about 600 acres. The evacuation level has been reduced to an advisory and KOZI reports most people have returned home.

Only a handful of people went to a Red Cross shelter that opened at the Chelan High School and was moved to a church.

Previous Information from Spokesman.com

A fire near Lake Chelan on Wednesday charred more than 700 acres and forced the evacuation of nearly 80 residents.

More information from

Lightning sparked the Union Valley blaze Tuesday evening, and overnight winds whipped flames into a fire that scorched a hillside and threatened homes near this lakeside community. More than 400 firefighters from across the state, including Spokane, were called in to fight the fire, which was 20 percent contained Wednesday evening.

"All it took was one thunder cell overhead, and it just blew it up," said Nick Mickel, spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources. "It was a wind-driven fire. Once the wind died down, we were able to get a handle on it."

Residents of about 120 to 140 homes were either urged to evacuate or to be ready to, but fire officials said only 79 people left their homes.

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