KOHO News is following a fire burning around 10 miles north of Wenatchee that shut down Highway 97A for a good portion of the overnight hours. The fire was called in just before midnight Monday evening, and crews shut down the highway at 12:15am Tuesday morning. Department of Transportation crews started pilot car led traffic at 5:30AM, with two lane traffic expected to be restored sometime around 9AM. Reports indicated lines of up to 50 cars at 5:30AM, though, so emergency personnel recommend travelers take Highway 97 if possible for your travel plans. Chelan County Sheriff Mike Harum said the fire is burning in a fairly unoccupied part of the county, although four or five residents have received the least serious, Level One fire notice, simply notifying them a fire is in the area.
UPDATE 7:40AM...Rivercom Dispatchers tell KOHO Radio fire officials informed them the fire was considered "contained" in the 6AM hour. Containment, remember, means fire officials feel they have the fire contained within a perimeter...whether that includes natural barriers or human-made ones. Fuel can, and usually does, burn within that perimeter for some time while mop-up activities continue, and with highs expected in the 90's, the blaze still holds some danger for flare-ups. One-lane traffic continues on 97A.
UPDATE 11:43AM...We now have a name for the blaze. The burn 10 miles north of Wenatchee is now being called the "Lake Entiat Fire". We now know two Department of Natural Resources Type 2 helicopters have dropped water on the fire since 6 this morning, dousing some of the hotter spots on the interior of the fire. DOT crews re-established two lane traffic along Highway 97A around 8 this morning. Fire officials say they're cautiously optimistic fire lines will hold, but hot afternoon temperatures and possible wind gusts up to 10 miles per hour could prove problematic as the day wears on.