UPDATE: Chelan Wildfire Now At 675 Acres - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UPDATE: Chelan Wildfire Now At 675 Acres

Sunday Afternoon Update:

Due to increased fire activity all residences immediately adjacent to  the west side of Navarre Coulee Road (HWY 971) between the HWY 97A/Navarre Coulee Road intersection and mile post 7 on Navarre Coulee road are now in a Level 2 Evacuation notice.  Chelan County Sheriff's deputies will be notifying landowners.

 

Sunday Morning Update:

The Navarre Fire grew to approximately 650 acres on Saturday; the fire spread to the north and south due to hot dry weather conditions.  Current firefighting resources include more than 150 personnel from state, county, and federal agencies plus contract fire crews, fire engines, bulldozers, and helicopters; more resources will be arriving today.  The fire is 70 percent contained and no structures have burned. 

The fire was active until about 3 a.m. Sunday morning.  Seven structure protection engines were located at various locations until 2 a.m., and four fire engines patrolled Navarre Coulee and Johnson Creek roads overnight.

Today, firefighters will be constructing and reinforcing firelines on the south and southwest flanks of the fire where burnout occurred on Saturday and continuing mop-up operations on other flanks.  Hot weather, steep terrain, rolling rocks and other rolling debris are major concerns for firefighter safety.  So far, two firefighters have received minor injuries due to rolling rocks and another firefighter experienced a heat-related health issue; all of these individuals have returned to the fireline.

Weather conditions continue to be hot and dry with predictions for temperatures to reach triple digits this afternoon.

Motorists traveling on US Highway 97A need to be aware as aircraft dip water from the Columbia River.  Please do not park along the highway or impede firefighting apparatus working in the area.

Restrictions on boat access near the helicopter dipping site on the Columbia River remain in effect.

Working collaboratively with the Chelan County Sheriff's Office the Current Evacuation Information is:

  • The Level 3 evacuation order has been lifted.
  • Fifteen other residences and cabins in the Johnson Creek area are under a Level 2 evacuation order, which means that residents must be prepared to leave at a moment's notice.
  • Eighteen other residences along Navarre Coulee Road have been warned that a fire is in the area and should monitor local media outlets for information.

A Type 3 Incident Management Team, led by Incident Commander Tony Gilmer, is directing firefighting efforts from an incident base camp located at the Chelan School District administration community gym in unified command with jurisdictions of Chelan Fire District No. 8, US Forest Service and Washington State Department of Natural Resources.  Incident management personnel want to thank the public for their continued cooperation and patience during ongoing suppression efforts. 

Saturday afternoon UPDATE:

The 600-acre Navarre Fire, burning near the Navarre Coulee Road approximately 8 miles north of the town of Entiat, is now 75 percent contained, though officials say they are re-evaluating that number.  Firefighters will continue constructing fire line today and plan to have a line around the entire fire by this evening.  Weather conditions will continue to be hot and dry today and fire activity is expected to increase late afternoon. 

Friday evening, fire crews completed a 20-acre burnout on the southeast flank of the fire to strengthen the fire line in that area.

Firefighting resources include 160 personnel from state, county, and federal agencies plus contract fire crews, fire engines, bulldozers, and one helicopter.  Other aerial suppression resources are on standby and available if needed.  

Motorists traveling on US Highway 97A need to be aware as aircraft dip water from the Columbia River.

Restrictions on boat access near the helicopter dipping site on the Columbia River remain in effect.

No structures have burned.  Evacuation orders will remain in place until a fire line has been constructed around the entire fire.

Hazards to firefighters include steep hillsides, rolling rocks, dehydration and the high temperatures.

Three fire engine crews will patrol and monitor the fire area through the night to ensure continued public safety.

Current Evacuation Information:

  • One residence in the Johnson Creek area, a mile west of the fire, is under a Level 3 evacuation notice and has been evacuated.
  • Thirteen other residences and cabins in the Johnson Creek area are under a Level 2 evacuation order, which means that residents must be prepared to leave at a moment's notice.
  • Nineteen other residences along Navarre Coulee Road have been warned that a fire is in the area and should monitor local media outlets for information.
  • Evacuation level status will be re-evaluated throughout the day

A Type 3 Incident Management Team, led by Incident Commander Tony Gilmer, is directing firefighting efforts from an incident base camp located at the Chelan School District administration community gym in unified command with jurisdictions of Chelan Fire District No. 8, US Forest Service and Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

Incident management personnel want to thank the public for their cooperation and patience during ongoing suppression efforts. 

Previous Coverage:

ENTIAT, Wash. (AP) - Another 40 firefighters are arriving Friday at a wildfire burning grass and brush between Entiat and Chelan, about 20 miles north of Wenatchee.
    
That will bring the total to about 160 firefighters, working to build a line around the 250-acre fire in hilly terrain.
    
Forest Service spokeswoman Robin DeMario says the occupants of one home in the Navarre Coulee area were told to evacuate after the fire broke out Thursday afternoon, and residents of a couple dozen more homes have been told to be ready to flee.
    
No structures have burned. One firefighter was hit by a rolling rock and suffered a minor injury.
    
DeMario says Highway 97A will be closed intermittently by helicopters flying over with water, but people still should be able to get to Lake Chelan.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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