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FIRE UPDATES

September 20, 2012

 
 

 
***UPDATE, Sunday, September 23***
 
All in all, fire officials say it was a good weekend fighting the blazes making up the Wenatchee complex of fires, now burning into its second week.
 
The air inversion keeping smoke close to the valley floor has been a double-edged sword for firefighters. While the smoke has choked lungs all around the valley and kept planned burning operations under wraps, the inversion has also allowed ground crews to construct massive lines around the Peavine and Table Mountain fire lines. The two arms of the complex have burned 70 thousand acres already, and firefighters still expect them to grow together, creating one large blaze. Crews worked hard creating lines around the two, “putting them in a box”, and expect the perimeter of the blaze to burn until a season-ending event (aka, rain or mountain snow). 
 
Fire officials say Mother Nature gave firefighters a huge gift over the last two days, when massive predicted lightning strikes never materialized. It’s one of the reasons commanders kept more than 2000 people on the front lines constructing fire breaks. Now that the danger of lightning has passed, fire command will start demobilizing some of those numbers to higher priority burns around the west.
 
Fire officials say you should be able to breathe somewhat easier today, as that inversion choking the valley is expected to lift a bit, giving the Wenatchee Valley the clearest air we’ve had in days. They won’t hazard a guess as to how long that clear(er) air will last, as weather behavior for today is still in flux as of this morning.
 
***FIRE UPDATE, 6:40AM, Friday, Sept. 21***
 
Fire officials say the smoke that choked the Wenatchee Valley yesterday has been a double-edged sword. While the ever-present campfire smell irritates our lungs and annoys many to no end, the inversion holding that smoke has also held the advance of burns to the north, south, and east side of the Wenatchee complex. That meant fire crews had a field day strengthening lines and creating additional ones. The Wenatchee Complex now stands at a grand total of 41.849 acres burned, and is 24% contained. 
 
Evacuation levels are little changed. The only area that switched evacuation levels last night was the area along the Westside of Squilchuck between Halverson Road and Hampton Road…fire crews downgraded that area to a less-serious Level 2 evacuation level. 
 
A public meeting is scheduled for 7PM tonight at the Leavenworth Fire Hall on Chumstick Road, right across the street from Cascade High School.

 

 
***Fire UPDATE 4:30pm, Thursday 9/20***
 

Fire activity has remained relatively calm today, with the inversion keeping fires more quiet but keeping air in Wenatchee and Cashmere at sustained hazardous levels. Air is unhealthy in Leavenworth today. There have been no changes to fire evacuation levels this afternoon.

 
Chelan County Evacuations/Road Closures
9/20/2012 4:27 PM
STREET LEVEL
CANYONS FIRE:
Horse Lake Road Closed at end of pavement (MP 1)
No. 2 Canyon Road 1 to end of pavement, 2 past pavement
Stiss Canyon Road 1
BYRD CANYON / NAVARRE FIRE:
SR 971 (Navarre Coulee Rd) west side
MP 0 to MP 3 (previous dozer line)
2
SR 971 (Navarre Coulee Rd) east side 2at mouth of draw and MP 2.5
US 97A Open
US 97A Tunnel to Davis Canyon Road MP 224 to 226 1
US 97A from Byrd Canyon to SR 971 1
Crum Canyon Road Closed at USFS land; 2 for rest of road
Davis Canyon Road 2
Downey Canyon (off of US97A) 1
Johnson Creek Road Closed to all but local traffic
Oklahoma Gulch Road Closed
PEAVINE CANYON FIRE:
Fairview Canyon Road 1 south of Zager Road
TABLE MOUNTAIN FIRE:
All roads south of Wenatchee Heights intersection with
Squilchuck Road(Upper Squilchuck Road, Forest Ridge,
Mission Ridge Road & side canyons)
Closed to all but local traffic
Alder Court 3
Fircrest Place 3
Forest Ridge Drive 3
Halverson Canyon Road 3
Hampton Road 3
Lehman Road 3
Mission Ridge Road 3
Mission Village Road 3
Pinehurst Place 3
ScoutAVista 3
Smart Road 3
Squilchuck Road 3 at intersection with Wenatchee Heights Road
Summit View Place 3
Tamarack Place 3
POISON CREEK FIRE:
Briskey Canyon Road 2 Closed to all but local traffic at Brender Canyon
Road
Camas Creek Road Closed end of pavement (MP 3) to Taber Road; to
all but local traffic at intersection with US 97
Camas Meadows (USFS Camas Land Road, USFS Camas
Way)
2
Corrigan Road 2
Chelan County Evacuations/Road Closures
9/20/2012 4:27 PM
Foltz Lane 2
Mission Creek Road 2 Closed to all but local traffic at Coates Road
Sand Creek Road 2
Sky Meadows Road 2
Tripp Canyon Road 2
OTHERS
US 97 from MP 177 to Hwy 970 (Ingalls Creek to Kittitas
county line)
**now open**
Burch Mountain Road Closed
Entiat River Road Closed at Silver Falls campground
First Creek Road 2 Closed to all but local traffic
Granite Falls Road 2
 

***Fire UPDATE 7:00pm, Wednesday 9/19***

 

 
 
 
 
Highway 97 over Blewett Pass will remain closed overnight and will be re-evaluated in the morning. WSDOT says US 97 is closed from milepost 150 at the junction with SR970 to milepost 177, eight miles south of the junction with US 2 at the Big Y due to fire activity on the south side of the summit. The Tronson Ridge fire is burning close to the highway at milepost 166. Southbound traffic will have to find an alternate route.
 
Level 3 evacuations are going out for homes around Mission Ridge, including Forest Ridge, Wenatchee Heights, and Squilchuck Rd up to Mission Rd including Halverson and Hampton Canyons. These evacuations are due to massive growth of the Table Rock fire burning on the other side of Mission Ridge. The fire is sending up a huge column of smoke and embers, and is dropping up to 8" pieces of bark ember on Mission Ridge, potentially starting new spot fires.
 
***Fire UPDATE 4:30pm, Wednesday 9/19***

 
Highway 97 is closed at the junction of Highway 2 due to a fire burning on the other side of Blewett Pass. Only local traffic will be allowed past the barricades. No estimated reopening time is currently listed. A fire is backing down Tronson Ridge to within 1/2 mile of Highway 97 in the Blewett Pass area. Southbound traffic will have to choose an alternate route.
 
 
***Fire UPDATE 2:00pm, Tuesday 9/18***
 

 
Cashmere Schools are closing for the remainder of the week due to smoke from area wild fires. Superintendent Glenn Johnson said poor air quality remains a problem both outside and inside Cashmere schools. Johnson said he does not want to risk staff or student health and safety, and is erring on the side of caution after consulting air quality experts about conditions expected for the next few days. Plans are being made to adjust the calendar to make up for lost instructional time. Cashmere schools let our early on Thursday, and have remained closed since Friday.
 
***Fire UPDATE 10:00am, Tuesday 9/18***
 
Some evacuation levels related the Wenatchee Complex of wild fires are changing this morning.
 
Fairview Canyon (Canyons Fire) is being reduced from level 2 to level 1.
 
Navarre Coulee Road/971 (Byrd Complex) has reopened; evacuations are being reduced from level 3 to level 2. Davis and Johnson Rds remain closed, but homes on those roads are being reduced to level 2 evacuation status.
 
The Poison Canyon fire outside Cashmere remains active, and some new evacuation notices are going out. Brisky Canyon Rd, Sky Meadows Rd, and homes in Camas Meadows/Camas Land have gone to level 2 notifications. Fire information officer Mick Mueller said these notices are more of a conservative move because of potential burnout operations, as residents will likely see fire throughout the day.
 
Air quality remains bad, with Wenatchee experiencing sustained hazardous air and Leavenworth experiencing unhealthy air conditions.
 
 ***Fire UPDATE 5:30pm, Monday 9/17***

 

Cashmere schools will remain closed tomorrow, Tuesday, due to smoke concerns. All other districts remain open. Air quality remains hazardous in Wenatchee and unhealthy in Leavenworth. The return of the inversion has dampened fire activity, allowing crews to proceed with lining and back burn operations. Some homes in Number One and Number Two Canyons have been downgraded to level 1 evacuation status.
 
***Fire UPDATE 9:30am, Monday 9/17***

 

Smoke hangs heavy in the valley this morning, as the inversion returns and traps stagnant air. Wenatchee air quality is back to hazardous levels, Leavenworth is unhealthy. The health district recommends everyone stay inside, avoid heavy exertion, and use an N95 mask if you must be outdoors. Cashmere School District has cancelled all classes today. The inversion should slow fire activity, but could also prevent air attack by helicopter crews. New fire activity near Mt. Cashmere in the Enchantments has closed much of the national forest are outside Leavenworth and caused overnight permits to be cancelled. Other fires burning north of Lake Wenatchee have also been reported. Those fires are being monitored and staffed as resources allow.
Here is the latest fire information press release for the Wenatchee Complex: A public meeting was held last night in Wenatchee. Fire officials briefed more than 100 citizens on the status of the fire.
Yesterday, the First Creek Fire broke through the containment lines on Slide Peak. National Guard helicopters provided numerous water bucket drops in assistance to the Vale Hot Shot crew, who were then able to reestablish the line. The Guard helicopters also helped put out a spot fire nearby.
A combination of factors continue to challenge firefighters:  heavy smoky conditions can keep aircraft on the ground, dangerous burning and or standing dead trees, called snags, can fall on firefighters, steep terrain, rolling logs and extremely dry vegetation all contribute to the.fire fighting dangers.
Today, a high pressure system will move in from the coast and cause an inversion. This creates a “dome cap” which will hold smoke in the communities and valleys surrounding the fires.  Light winds in the fire area will be terrain driven (3-6 mph). Temperatures in the valleys will be 70-80 degrees with relative humidities in the mid teens to twenty percent.
More than 300 firefighters have moved to a base camp at Entiat City Park, Entiat, WA.  This move will reduce the drive times to fire lines on the First Creek, Byrd and Klone fires.
A swing shift, from 11 am to 11 pm, has been added to assist burn out operations and then hold and monitor the fire into the evening.
The Canyon Fire, directly west of Wenatchee, continues burning in shrubs and grass. Today firefighters will start mop up around structures in Number 2 Canyon on the southern flank.  Fire line construction and mop up continue to the north of Horse Lake Mountain.  Additional line construction will be completed on the west to tie the fire together to the Number 2 Canyon.  The Canyon Fire is approximately 8,277 acres. No structures have been lost. This fire is 25% contained. Up-to-date information on evacuations can be heard on local media in Wenatchee or by checking www.inciweb.org/incident/3258.
The Byrd Canyon Fire, located just north of Entiat, Washington, is 13,960 acres in size. The fire, which is burning in grass and shrub land, is being patrolled and mopped up. High fire traffic and smoky conditions around this fire, make this a hazardous driving area.  This fire is 45% contained.
The Peavine Canyon Fire, located southwest of Wenatchee in upper Mission Creek/Devils Gulch, is burning in shrub and pine forest. It is 5,255 acres in size.  A burnout operation, along Forest Service Road (FSR) 9712 south to Mission Peak, is scheduled for today.  Crews will begin mop up after this occurs.  An additional burnout is scheduled along the Peavine Canyon control line. This fire is 10% contained.
The Poison Canyon Fire, located south of Cashmere, is burning in shrub and pine.  It is approximately 3,478 acres.  Hand and dozer lines were put in the area where the fire spotted near Canyon and Mission Roads to prevent the fire from moving into Tripp Canyon and west toward Camas Land. Crews on the southern end of the fire are preparing for a burnout operation.  Along other perimeters crews will utilize the road and ridgelines for indirect fire line.  Structures protection is in place.  This fire is 10% contained.
 The First Creek Fire, located 10 miles west of Lake Chelan, is 1,200 acres.  It is burning in very difficult and steep terrain. Operations for today are to hold and improve lines and burn out where necessary.  Scouting and construction of contingency lines and structure protection is also planned in First Creek and Granite Falls Creek.  A Level 3 evacuation remains in place for First Creek and Granite Falls Creek. This fire is 10% contained.
The Pyramid (377 acres) and Klone Fires, (570 acres)north of Entiat are burning in timber that was severely impacted by disease and insects.  Crews on the Klone fire will continue to work with local resource advisors to minimize impact on sensitive and/or threatened resources in the area. Firefighters are protecting thirty seven recreation cabins by clearing vegetation, wrapping fire protective material around the base of the cabins and installing sprinklers on or near the cabins.  Fireline improvements along Entiat Road, County Road 19 will continue.
The Bassalt Fire, 70 acres: and Sears Fire, 40 acres, pose no immediate danger to structures.
The Cashmere Mountain Fire, (300 acres), is in an old fire-burned area. It does not pose a danger to structures at the present time.
Fires within the Yakima Complex, in Kittitas County south and west of the Wenatchee Complex, continue to actively burn, with evacuations on going. The Yakima Complex has been divided in two and is now being managed by two Washington State Incident Management Teams.
The Incident Management Team continues to have initial attack responsibility for all wildland fires within Chelan County.  Resources will be mobilized when there is a new start.
The area is extremely dry and conditions are right for rapid fire growth on existing fires and new fire starts. All outdoor burning is restricted and campfires are only allowed in designated campgrounds on federal lands. All outdoor burning, including campfires, is banned in all counties east of the Cascades through midnight, September 18. Hunters and recreationists are asked to be aware of and conform to fire restrictions that are in place.
***Fire UPDATE 11:00pm, Sunday 9/16***

 

According to fire officials, Sunday night's public meeting in Wenatchee was well attended.  Fire officials were on hand to answer questions and discuss issues with the attendees.
 
A combination of factors challenged firefighters today; smoky conditions, snags, steep terrain, rolling logs and extremely dry vegetation. Firefighters continue to work professionally and safely and enjoyed more success than setbacks today. Helicopters supporting the firefighters returned to base in the early afternoon due to smoky conditions.
  
The Chinook National Guard helicopter was painted for higher visibility, enabling it to join the suppression efforts. Aviation resources will be setting up a batch mixing station for retardant.  Helicopters are flying out of Pangborn Field, the Chelan Airport and from the Leavenworth area.
 
A high pressure system will move in from the coast, causing an inversion this evening.  This creates a “dome cap” which will hold smoke in the communities and valleys surrounding the fires.  Light winds in the fire area will be terrain driven (3-6mph). Temperatures in the valleys will be 70-80 degrees with relative humidities in the mid-teens to 20%.
 
Over 300 firefighting resources have moved to a base camp at the Entiat City Park in Entiat, WA.  This move is for firefighter and public safety.  It  reduces drive times and increases time on the firelines. Resources stationed at Entiat will be working on the First Creek, Byrd and Klone fires.
 
The Canyon Fire, directly west of Wenatchee, continues burning in shrubs and grass and is approximately 8,277 acres. Today, firefighters secured fire lines and continued mop-up activities around structures. No structures have been lost on this fire. Canyon fire is considered 25% contained. Up-to-date information on evacuations can be heard on local media in Wenatchee or by checking www.inciweb.org/incident/3258.
 
The Byrd Canyon Fire, is approximately 13,960 acres, and is located just north of Entiat, Washington.  The fire is burning in grass and shrub land. Sunday crews continued to mop-up around structures and secure firelines. This fire is considered 45% contained.
 
The Peavine Canyon Fire, located southwest of Wenatchee in upper Mission Creek/Devils Gulch, is burning in shrub and pine forest and is approximately 5,255 acres.  Crews continued to prepare control lines in the Liberty Beehive area south to Mission Peak . US Forest Service Road 7100 was secured and will be used as a control line to prevent northerly movement. The objective is to keep the fire out of Pitcher Canyon. This fire is considered 10% contained.
 
The Poison Canyon Fire, located south of Cashmere, is burning in shrub and pine.  It is approximately 3,478 acres.  Hand and dozer lines were put in the area where the fire spotted near Canyon and Mission Roads to prevent the fire from moving into Tripp Canyon and west toward Camas Land. Crews will patrol and mop-up around structures tonight. Poison Canyon fire is considered 10% contained.
 
The First Creek Fire, located 10 miles west of Lake Chelan, is approximately 1,200 acres.  It is burning in very difficult and steep terrain. Today, crews continued line construction along the northeastern and western flanks while others provided structure protection in First Creek and Granite Falls Creek.  A Level 3 evacuation remains in place for First Creek and Granite Falls Creek. This fire is considered 10% contained.
 
The Pyramid and Klone Fires, north of Entiat, are approximately 377 and 570 acres respectively. These fires are burning in timber that was severely impacted by disease and insects.  Crews on the Klone fire worked closely with local employees to minimize impact on sensitive and/or threatened resources in the area.  Crews worked to protect 37 summer recreation cabins. The lower parts of the cabins were wrapped along with propane tanks and firewood was removed from the area.  Sprinklers were installed on multiple homes and aimed on shake roofs.  Firefighters also worked on contingency lines to the southeast, toward the Entiat Valley.
 
Fires within the Yakima Complex in Kittitas County south and west of the Wenatchee Complex continue to actively burn, with evacuations on going. The Yakima Complex has been divided with two Washington State Incident Management Teams assigned. We will be working closely with Team #2 lead by Incident Commander Rex Reed.
 
The Incident Management Team continues to have initial attack responsibility for all wildland fires within Chelan County.  Resources will be mobilized when there is a new start.
 
The area is extremely dry and conditions are right for rapid fire growth on existing fires and new fire starts. All outdoor burning is restricted and campfires are only allowed in designated campgrounds on Federal Lands. All outdoor burning including campfires is banned in all counties east of the Cascades through midnight, September 18. Hunters and recreationists are asked to be aware of and conform to fire restrictions that are in place.
 
***Fire UPDATE 12:30pm, Sunday 9/16***

 
Here’s the latest we have on evacuations due to area wildfires. First off, some good news from the Canyons Fire outside Wenatchee. As of 10am today, homes in the Castle Heights area, including those on Kings Court Road, Castle Heights Drive, a portion of Linville Drive, and Queens Court Road that were on level 3 evacuation notice have been downgraded to level 2 due to successful burnout operations between Number One and Number Two Canyons over the last few days. Number Two Canyon Road west of Castle Heights Drive and Suss Canyon ROad will remain on Level 3 evacuation status. The roadblock is now located just west of Castle Heights Drive.
The Poison Creek Fire outside Cashmere remains active. Due to recent fire activity at the bottom of Tripp Canyon, the evacuation level of Mission Creek Road from the intersection with Tripp Canyon Road up to the tree farm will be increased from level 2 to level 3. This will affect 18 homes. To make room for an adequate turnaround, the road block on Mission Creek ROad is at the Coates Road junction North of the closed area. The area between the roadblock and Tripp Canyon is NOT under an evacuation order at this time. Only property owners will be allowed beyond the barricade.
Meanwhile, Mary Small with the Chelan-Douglas Health District said in a recent news release that air quality is trending towards poorer. Wenatchee air remains hazardous, and while Leavenworth started the day with good air, conditions are expected to worsen for all areas throughout the day. Small recommends people, especially those in Wenatchee, remain indoors, avoid exposure to outside air, and avoid strenuous activities. Air quality could continue to decline into next week, if the inversion returns as expected.
 
***Fire UPDATE 5:30pm, Saturday 9/15***
 
***CORRECTED 6pm***
 
New smoke in Leavenworth appears to be coming from two fires, one burning near Mt. Cashmere and one north of Lake Wenatchee. The Mt. Cashmere fire was a small spot fire being monitored, which sent up a new plume and increased fire activity as the inversion lifted today. The other fire, called the Basalt Peak fire, it is about 100 acres and burning actively. Officials say all fires in the area are heating up, as increased wind has also increased fire activity. Helicopters have been busy dropping water throughout the day. There are no new evacuation notices, save for the level 3 evacuations in Tripp Canyon announced earlier today. Air quality has improved throughout the area, but remains hazardous in Wenatchee. More information is expected after a 7pm evening briefing.
 

***Fire UPDATE 12:30pm, Saturday 9/15***
 

As of noon today, an Evacuation Level III has been declared for the Tripp Canyon Road from its junction with the Mission Creek Road westward. The fire has crested the ridge above Tripp Canyon and is moving downslope. Residents of the area are advised to evacuate. To provide an adequate turnaround, Mission Creek Road will be barricaded at the Coats Road junction north of the closed area. The area between the road barricade and Tripp Canyon is NOT under ANY evacuation order of any level as yet. Only property owners will be allowed beyond the barricade.
 
Other fires were outlined in a press release earlier this morning:
 

A series of fires was discovered following a severe lightning storm that covered much of eastern Washington on Saturday, September 9th.
Local resources from the United States Forest Service (USFS), Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Spokane District BLM, Wenatchee Fire Districts 1 and 7, Chelan Fire Districts 1, 3, 4, 6, 8 and Chelan County Sheriff’s office immediately began suppression efforts. These organizations and the firefighters that responded were instrumental in minimizing losses and keeping folks safe.
 
The Type 1 National Incident Management Team, headed by Incident Commander Jeff Pendleton, continues aggressive suppression efforts, assigning resources as they arrive. Individual fires are constantly being assessed and evaluated for risk to public and fire fighter safety.   Available resources are being reassigned as priorities change. Fires which pose the greatest risk to human life, property and natural resources are being staffed first, along with any new fires to keep them as small as possible.
 
 Smoky conditions are expected in the Wenatchee Valley and surrounding communities throughout the weekend. While the smoky conditions are unhealthy for the public and fire fighters, the lack of wind coupled with the smoky conditions has also prevented fire activity from increasing while allowing for burnout activities to be conducted. The smoke has also prevented any air operations from occurring. If the air clears today, the assigned helicopters currently at Pangborn Field will be moved to the Leavenworth area and the Chelan airport. An aggressive air assault will be launched as allowed by good visibility.
 A weak cold front is predicted to move through the area again today resulting in southwest to west winds with potential gusts of 6 to 12 mph over ridge tops.
 
An additional camp will be set up today at the Entiat City Park and resources assigned to the First Creek and Byrd fires will work from there to reduce travel time and increase time on the fire lines.
 
Canyon Fire, directly west of Wenatchee, continues burning in shrubs and grass and is approximately 7,900 acres. Today firefighters will continue to clear around homes and hold current lines in Number 2 Canyon. Crews which completed fire lines connecting Number 1 and 2 Canyons allowed for a burnout to start about 2:00 pm on Friday continued through the night. Reports from this morning indicate this operation was successful. The fire remained above the Gun Club and to the north. Fire suppression objectives are to protect life and provide structure protection. No structures have been lost on this fire. Evacuation levels will be reassessed this morning and adjusted as necessary. This fire is considered to be 25% contained. Up-to-date information can be heard on local media in Wenatchee or by checking www.inciweb.org/incident/3258.
 
Byrd Canyon Fire, is approximately 13,900 acres, and is located just north of Entiat, Washington. The fire is burning in grass and shrub land. The burnout was completed and fire lines are holding with no movement overnight. Crews today will reinforce fire lines and continue mop up around structures. This fire is considered 45% contained.
 
The Peavine Canyon Fire, located southwest of Wenatchee in upper Mission Creek/Devils Gulch, is burning in shrub and pine forest and is approximately 4,600 acres. Crews scouted and prepared control lines in the Liberty Beehive area. Firefighters overnight completed a burnout operation along the USFS 9712 Road and in the Beehive Mountain area.
 
There was increased fire activity within the Devils Gulch area within the fire perimeter in the afternoon. Crews will continue with control line construction to keep the fire out of Pitcher Canyon. This fire is considered 5% contained.
 
The Poison Canyon Fire, located south of Cashmere, is burning in shrub and pine. It is approximately 2,500 acres. Today, crews will work on constructing containment lines on the western and northwest flanks in order to keep the fire out of Brisky, Brender and Tripp Canyons to the north and west of the current fire perimeter. Overnight crews patrolled and provided structure protection. This fire is considered 10% contained.
 
The First Creek Fire, located 10 miles west of Lake Chelan, is approximately 1,300 acres. It is burning in very difficult and steep terrain. Today, additional resources are assigned to continue line construction started on Slide Ridge and develop a structure protection plan for the area. A Level 3 evacuation remains in place for First Creek and Granite Falls Creek. This fire is considered 5% contained.
 
The Pyramid and Klone Fires, north of Entiat are approximately 260 and 50 acres respectfully. These fires are burning in timber that was impacted severely by disease and insects. Friday these fires experienced increased fire behavior and a plan has been developed to begin suppression efforts as resources become available.
 
Fires within the Yakima Complex in Kittitas County south and west of the Wenatchee Complex continue to actively burn. Both Incident Management Teams are coordinating suppression efforts on these fires.
 
The Incident Management Team has initial attack responsibility for all wildland fires within Chelan County.   Resources will mobilize when there is a new start.
 
As a reminder, the area is extremely dry and conditions are set for rapid fire growth on existing and new fire starts. All outdoor burning is restricted and campfires are only allowed in designated campgrounds on State and Federal Lands. Hunters and recreationists are asked to be aware of and conform to fire restrictions in place.
 
The Incident Management Team would like to express appreciation to the community for your support and help in our efforts to fight these fires. It is vital that the community cooperates with evacuations, road closures, and avoiding areas of high traffic for fire suppression.
 

 
***Fire UPDATE 10:15am, Friday 9/14***

 

CANYONS FIRE:
 
There is good news for some residents who have been under Level III and II Evacuation status from the Canyons Fire. One hundred and twenty one homes in the Broadview subdivision and 37 homes in Sleepy Hollow Heights between Wenatchee and Monitor are having their evacuation status dropped to Level 1 due to diminished danger from the fires that threatened these neighborhoods earlier in the week.
 
 
POISON CANYON FIRE:
 
On the other hand, increased fire activity in the Mission Creek drainage has resulted in Level 2 Evacuation notices being ordered for 11 homes in Tripp Canyon.  Chelan County Deputies are enroute to homes in this area to deliver these notices.
 
Level 1, 2, and 3 Evacuation Status is akin to a “Ready, Set, Go” level of evacuation notices with Level 1 asking residents to be ready to evacuate if conditions change, Level 2 means residents should be set to go at a moment’s notice, Level 3 means authorities are advising residents to evacuate because their homes are in imminent danger.
 
***Fire UPDATE 5:00pm, Thursday 9/13***

 

        As the inversion started to ease today, fire activity has increased. In anticipation of some planned burnouts in Number Two Canyon, homes that were under level 2 evacuation status have been upgraded to level 3 status. Fire information officer Susan Peterson said the upgraded evacuation status notifications are due both to the increase in fire activity, and the back burn operations which are expected to add even more smoke to an already very smoky area.
        The area newly under level 3 evacuation status includes over 85 homes on Number Two Canyon Road east of the Gun Club to Castle Heights Drive. Canyonside, Castle Heights Drive, Kings Court, Queens Court, and Linville Drive are also included in this level 3 evacuation.
        Authorities are manning a roadblock at Castle Heights Drive and Number Two Canyon Road. Only property owners will be allowed in level 3 evacuation areas.
        Other evacuation levels imposed earlier remain in place, though there is the possibility some areas could be downgraded after a reassessment tomorrow.
 
***Fire UPDATE 1:00pm, Thursday 9/13***

 

Cashmere School District let out early, at 12:15 today, due to smoke and bad air quality. Superintendent Glen Johnson said in his 10 years this is the first early dismissal, but that smoke increased inside and outside to a point not conducive to school. Parents and emergency contacts were called, and transportation was provided. The few students who's contacts were unreachable were kept at school. Johnson said Cashmere schools will start at least 2 hours late tomorrow, and could open even later or cancel completely depending on smoke conditions. Cashmere is the only area school district to impose an early release today, and Johnson added that smoke conditions vary widely throughout the valley. All fire evacuation notices remain unchanged.
 
***Fire UPDATE 12:00pm, Thursday 9/13***

 

Some homes in the Lake Chelan area are being upgraded to level 2 evacuation notive, but evacuation levels remain unchanged for the Canyons Fire burning near Wenatchee, the Poison Creek Fire burning in the Mission Creek drainage south of Cashmere, and for the Peavine Fire burning between Wenatchee and Mission Ridge.

 

Fire Information Officer Sgt. John Kruse said fire officials have received a number of inquiries about whether evacuation levels can be lowered for the Broadview subdivision in Wenatchee, where a number of homes remain under a Level III Evacuation status. According to Deputy Incident Commander Ed Lewis, “There is a potential for weather related increases in fire activity today and there is unburned fuel between this subdivision and the current fire line.”  

 

Kruse said a hand line and dozer line has been dug to protect this subdivision from the fire and several fire crews continue to patrol the neighborhood. Evacuation levels for this subdivision, as well as other areas under evacuation status, will be re-evaluated again tomorrow and earlier as conditions change.

 

There are currently 758 homes that have received evacuation notices related to the Canyons – Peavine and Poison Creek Fires.  One hundred and ninety two of these homes are under Level Three Evacuation status. 

 

A total of 26,000 acres have burned in the Wenatchee Complex Fires. The Canyons Fire accounts for 7900 acres, the Poison Creek Fire has burned 7300 acres and the Peavine Fire has burned approximately 1000 acres.

 

Kruse said Level II Evacuations are being issued to 28 homes that were under a Level 1 Evacuation Status along First Creek near the south shore of Lake Chelan. Approximately 10 homes along Granite Falls Creek are also receiving Level II Evacuation notices. These notices are being issued as a precaution in case the First Creek Fire jumps its current boundaries. If the fire does this, operations commanders believe the fire has the potential to move quickly to this area.

 

 
 

***Fire UPDATE 6:00pm, Wednesday 9/12***

 

 

        Wild fires continue to burn across North Central Washington, and hundreds of homes remain under evacuation. But overall today was a better one for fire fighters. Fire Information Officer Mick Mueller called it a “moderate fire day” with low winds that allowed firefighters to employ back burn techniques and dig lines to protect homes.
The lack of wind also allowed smoke to increase and worsen air quality to hazardous throughout the valley. Health district spokeswoman Mary Small recommends everyone limit time spent outdoors, avoid strenuous activity, and reduce exposure to smoke by setting heating or air conditioning on the recycle function.
        The Canyons Fire outside Wenatchee was estimated at 2000 acres at 10am this morning. FIO Sgt. John Kruse said the fire has likely grown some from that number throughout today, though not explosively. A number of homes were downgraded to level 1 evacuation status this morning. But 124 homes remain on level 3 evacuation notice due to the Canyons Fire.
        Additionally, two new areas were put on level 2 evacuation notice this afternoon. 62 homes were put on level 2 evacuation notice in the Forest Ridge development between Squilchuck State Park and Mission Ridge. Also, approximately 30 homes at the south end of Fairview Canyon near monitor were put on level 2 notices.
        Another fire continues to burn outside Cashmere. The Poison Fire continues to grow. FIO Mick Mueller said the fire has seen a general though not explosive increase today, and existing level 2 and 3 evacuation notices hold for homes in the Mission Creek area.
        Today could be a relative calm before another storm. Mueller said weather predictions call for possible gusty winds and dry conditions, which is expected to lead to increased fire activity starting Thursday and into the weekend.
        Resources continue to arrive to fight fires, and Mueller said they are being employed as soon as they arrive. Small spot fires are being monitored and or controlled as possible. More than 50 fires were reported in our area from Saturday’s lightening storm.
 
 
***Fire UPDATE 3:20pm, Wednesday 9/12***
 

Sgt. John Kruse updates that new level 2 evacuations have now been imposed. Due to increased fire activity Level Two Evacuation Notices are going out to residents of Fairview Canyon south of Zager Road near Monitor, Washington.  Approximately 30 homes in the south end of this canyon will receive these notices. As expected, Level 2 Evacuation Notices are now also being issued to the 62 homes in the Forest Ridge subdivision between Squilchuck State Park and the Mission Ridge Ski Area. 
 
Level 1, 2, and 3 Evacuation Status is akin to a “Ready, Set, Go” level of evacuation notices with Level 1 asking residents to be ready to evacuate if conditions change, Level 2 means residents should be set to go at a moment’s notice, Level 3 means authorities are advising residents to evacuate because their homes are in imminent danger.
 
There are currently 124 homes under Level Three Evacuation Notice regarding the Canyons Fire burning near Wenatchee.  We will continue to update you on evacuation notices as conditions change. 
 
***Fire UPDATE 1:30pm, Wednesday 9/12***

   

Fire information officer John Kruse gives this evacuation notice update: Fire activity from the Canyons, Twin Peaks and Poison Canyon Fire, part of the Wenatchee Complex Fire, is moving south and has the potential to threaten homes in the Forest Ridge subdivision.  It is anticipated Level 2 Evacuation Notices will be issued this afternoon to the 62 homes in this subdivision between Squilchuck State Park and the Mission Ridge Ski Area.  There is no imminent threat to these homes at this time. 
 
Level 1, 2, and 3 Evacuation Status is akin to a “Ready, Set, Go” level of evacuation notices with Level 1 asking residents to be ready to evacuate if conditions change, Level 2 means residents should be set to go at a moment’s notice, Level 3 means authorities are advising residents to evacuate because their homes are in imminent danger.
 

 ***Canyons Fire UPDATE 10:30am, Wednesday 9/12***
 

Area fires laid down overnight, giving crews a chance to better establish lines. But time is of the essence, as fire activity is expected to increase later in the week. Fire Information Officer John Kruse offers this latest update on the CANYONS FIRE burning outside Wenatchee, as seveal area evacuations have been downgraded:
 
Many homes from Sage Hills Drive to Westview Drive threatened by fires early on Sep 11th are having evacuation levels downgraded from Level 3 Status.  Homes on two streets in this area remain at Level 2 Status.
 
Evacuation Levels on Number One Canyon Road, Number Two Canyon Road to include Castle Heights, the Broadview Subdivision and Sleepy Hollow Heights remains the same. 
 
REMAINING AT LEVEL 2:
 
Chiefs Road
Austin Avenue
 
DOWNGRADED TO LEVEL 1:
 
Austin Court                                                                  
Day Drive                                                                       
Day Road                                                                       
Kookaburro Run                                                             
Lester Road past Day Road                                             
Ritter Street                                                                   
Sage Hills Drive                                                             
Shady Lane
Surry Road
Westchester Drive
West Knoll
Westmoreland Drive                 
Westwick Road
Westview Dive
 
The following homes remain on LEVEL 3 EVACUATION STATUS:
 
Number One Canyon Road west of Sage Hills Drive
Broadview Subdivision Homes fronting wildland.
Number Two Canyon Road west of the Gun Club and Stiss Canyon Road
 
Homes within the Broadview Development, on Number Two Canyon Road east of the Gun Club to (and including) the Castle Heights subdivision and the Sleepy Hollow Heights area remain under Level Two Evacuation Status.
 
Level 1, 2, and 3 Evacuation Status is akin to a “Ready, Set, Go” level of evacuation notices with Level 1 asking residents to be ready to evacuate if conditions change, Level 2 means residents should be set to go at a moment’s notice, Level 3 means authorities are advising residents to evacuate because their homes are in imminent danger.
 

 
 

***Poison Canyon/Mission Creek Drainage Fire UPDATE 6:00pm, Tuesday 9/11***

 
 

In addition to the Canyons fire outside of Wenatchee a fire is burning outside of Cashmere. Fire information officer Robin DiMario reports the information center at the fire station at 5th and Western say that the Poison Canyon Fire is about 1,000 acres and is composed of several fires.  There is a level 3 evacuation status for residents of Sand Creek north to Tripp Canyon, including the side canyons, like Slawson and Sherman. 
 
The fire weather outlook for Thursday is for unstable weather conditions that are expected to increase fire activity and then a cooling trend on Saturday and Sunday which is predicted to include some winds.  No rain is forecast for the next 7-10 days, unfortunately. 
 

 ***Canyons Fire UPDATE 5:30pm, Tuesday 9/11***
 
 

The Canyons Fire, burning west of Wenatchee, has merged with the Twin Peaks fire burning further west.  The acreage is estimated at 1,000 acres.  The fires are a result of a lightning storm on the evening of September 8th
 
Incident Commander Cecil McKinney said, “There is potential for the fire to move into Number Two Canyon”.  As a precaution, he is ordering Level 3 Evacuation notices for the 33 homes west of the Gun Club on Number Two Canyon and Stiss Canyon Road. 
 
Level Two Evacuation Notices are being issued for homes on Number Two Canyon Road from Castle Heights to the Gun Club.  These notices are also being issued within the Castle Heights subdivision to homes on Castle Heights Drive, Linville Drive, Kings Court, Canyonside and Queens Court.
 
Other Level 2 evacuations have been ordered for Sleepy Hollow Heights which includes Sleepy Hollow Road from the railroad tracks to Richared Road, Sky View Court, East View Lane, Scenic View Drive and Edgewood Lane. 
 
The fire is also burning to the south and a portion of the fire is slowly backing down into Number Two Canyon approximately one mile to the west of the Gun Club, where a roadblock has been set up.  The 33 homes in this portion of Number Two Canyon and Stiss Canyon Road were given Level Three Evacuation notices earlier today.  These homeowners need to understand the fire backing down to Number Two Canyon has the potential to leave them cut off and they are being urged to evacuate at this time.
 
Level 1, 2, and 3 Evacuation Status is akin to a “Ready, Set, Go” level of evacuation notices with Level 1 asking residents to be ready to evacuate if conditions change, Level 2 means residents should be set to go at a moment’s notice, Level 3 means authorities are advising residents to evacuate because their homes are in imminent danger.
 
A Red Cross shelter remains open at the Seventh Day Adventist Church located at 5th Street and Western Avenue in Wenatchee.  No homes have been lost in the fire and there have been no injuries.  Updates will continue as conditions change.
 

***Area Fires UPDATE 3:00pm, Tuesday 9/11***
 
 

The Wenatchee Complex includes over 50 lightning-caused fires burning in Chelan and Okanogan Counties.
 
The Byrd Canyon Fire started on Saturday, September 8 approximately 5 miles north of Entiat, Washington. It was one of 110 fires started by a lightning storm. Two other fires nearby have burned into the Byrd Canyon fire. It is now estimated at 7,500 - 9,000 acres.
 
Level 1, 2, and 3 Evacuation Status is akin to a "Ready, Set, Go" level of evacuation notices with Level 1 asking residents to be ready to evacuate if conditions change, Level 2 means residents should be set to go at a moment's notice, Level 3 means authorities are advising residents to evacuate because their homes are in imminent danger (under Level 3, residents will not be allowed to return to their homes until fire danger decreases).
 
Evacuations remain in place for the following areas affected by the Byrd Canyon Fire:
• Downey Canyon - Level 1
• State Route 971 Navarre Coulee Road (east side) - Level 2
• State Route 971 Navarre Coulee Road (west side) - Level 3
• State Route 97A Tunnel to Davis Canyon - Level 3
• State Route 97A from Byrd Canyon to State Route 971 - Level 3
 
The 20-acre First Creek Fire is located about 9 miles northwest of Chelan, Washington. This fire is very visible from the town of Chelan. A public meeting to share information about the Byrd and First Creek fires is scheduled to occur this evening (Tuesday, September 11) at 7:00 p.m. at the Chelan Fire Station No. 7 in Chelan.
 
The Canyons Fire has combined with the Twin Peaks fire; the acreage is unknown at this time but is in excess of 1,000 acres. The fire is burning a mile or so south/southwest of the City of Wenatchee.
• Level 3 evacuation notification is in place for residents in the Broadview Subdivision facing wildland areas. Homes in the interior of the Broadview Subdivision are under a Level 2 evacuation (but no homes below the canal).
• 40 homes west of Sage Hills Drive - Level 3
• Number 2 Canyon from above the Gun Club to the end of the road - Level 3
• Stiss Canyon - Level 3 evacuation.
• Number 2 Canyon west of Castle Heights to the Gun Club is at Level 2
• Castle Heights Drive - Level 2
• Kings Court - Level 2
• Canyon Side - Level 2
• Lindille Drive - Level 2
• Queens Court - Level 2
 
Increase in fire behavior in the three fires burning in the Mission Creek drainage have caused a Level 3 evacuation notification for 54 residences on Mission Creek Road from the Shelton Christmas Tree Farm to the national forest boundary.
 

 
***UPDATE 12:00pm, Tuesday 9/11***
 
Here is the latest release on the Canyons Fire burning outside Wenatchee adn Cashmere.
 

The Canyons Fire, burning west of Wenatchee, has merged with the Twin Peaks fire burning further west and now covers at least 1000 acres.  These fires are all a result of a lightning storm on the evening of September 8th.
 
Incident Commander Cecil McKinney says there is “Potential for the fire to move into Number Two Canyon, though it has not yet done so.” As a precaution, he is ordering Level 3 Evacuation notices for the 33 homes west of the Gun Club on Number Two Canyon and Stiss Canyon Road.  Level Two Evacuation Notices are now being issued for homes on Number Two Canyon Road from Castle Heights to the Gun Club.  These notices are also being issued within the Castle Heights subdivision to homes on Castle Heights Drive, Linville Drive, Kings Court, Canyonside and Queens Court.
 

 

 
***UPDATE 10:00am, Tuesday 9/11***
 ***CORRECTED 11:08 to reflect County Updates***
***AMMENDED 11:38 to reflect evac notices along #2 Canyon***
 
 
 
Here is the latest from Chelan County on evacuations and road closures related to the Canyons Fire complex burning outside Wenatchee and Cashmere:
 

Citing concerns about #2 Canyon, fire officials have widened their evacuation warnings.  Now under Level III (most serious) evacuation notice is #2 Canyon Road and Fisk Canyon Road, east of the Gun Club.  Fire officials are careful to point out the Canyon Fire has NOT spilled over into #2 Canyon, and the evacuation notices are simply a precautionary measure.

 

Level II Evacuation Notices are going out to residences on #2 Canyon Road east of the gun club to Castle Heights, including King’s Court, Canyonside, Linville Drive, and Queen’s Court.  Areas south of #2 Canyon are NOT under any evacuation notice at the moment. 

 
 
Level 3 evacuation notices have been issued for Number 1 Canyon from Sage Hills to the end of the road, Mission Creek Road (level 3 from MP 5, level 2 from MP 3 Tripp Canyon to Sand Creek, closed at Tripp Canyon to all but local traffic), Springwater West to Canal Level, Westmoreland Drive (Northern end), Westwick Road, Westview Drive, Surry Road North of Westchester, and the Broadview Development (homes facing wild land).
 
Level 2 evacutation notices have been issued for Number 2 Canyon Road West of Castle Heights to the Gun Club (restricted to local traffic only with manned road block), Austin Court, Austin Avenue, Day Drive, Kookaburro Run, Lester Road to Day Road, Ridgeview Place, Ritter Stree, Sage Hills Drive, Westchester Drive, West Knoll Avenue, and Westmoreland Drive.
 
Level 1 evacuations notices have been issued for Shady Lane and Surry Road.
 
Level 3 is the most serious evacuation level. These evacuations can change quickly, and this information represents the latest, best information that we have. Authorities ask that people stay away from evacuation areas and roads being used by fire and emergency crews.
 
 
***UPDATE 8:15pm, Monday 9/10***
 
Chelan County Emergency Management reports that Fire Strike Teams are heading out for the evening. Area residents should be seeing fire crews working in and around both #1 and #2 Canyons and the Broadview areas. It appears the Twin Peaks and Canyon fires are merging, but smoke makes that difficult to determine. Evacuation notices issued earlier in the day remain in effect.
 
***UPDATE 6:45pm, Monday 9/10***
 
Here are the latest updates on fires and road closures:
 
The Wenatchee River Ranger District has about 50 fires that started as a result of a lightning storm which passed through the area Saturday night and Sunday morning. Firefighters are locating and fighting the largest fires and those closest to residents and important infrastructure. Several smaller fires in the upper backcountry remain unstaffed.
 
The largest fire, the Canyons Fire is 860 acres, threatening 179 homes and is burning just west of Wenatchee.  There are 40 homes now under a Level-3 evacuation notice in and around Number 1 Canyon and west of Surry Road in Wenatchee. Level-3 evacuations mean residents have been advised to leave their homes because of the fire danger. No homes have been lost, though one shed was destroyed.
 
Larger fires that firefighters are suppressing include the Williams Fire (45 acres) in patrol status; Sunitsch Canyon Fire (5 acres) 50 percent contained; Peavine Fire (50 acres) 20 percent contained; and Posey Canyon Fire in patrol status. The Devil’s Gulch Fire is estimated to be more than 50 acres and active with difficult access. A forest trails and area closure is going into effect for the system affected by this fire which is an area from Beehive Reservoir to Devil’s Gulch and Mission Creek Road to Blewett Pass.
 
The numerous other fires have been detected across the Wenatchee River Ranger District. These areas include the Beehive Reservoir area, Number 2 Canyon, Twin Peaks near Wenatchee, Brisky and Brender Canyons near Cashmere, Scotty Creek and Hansel Creek near Blewett Pass, Meadow Creek and Coulter Creek near Lake Wenatchee.
 
Precipitation with the storm on Saturday ranged from 0.8 inches above Lake Wenatchee to near zero in areas close to Wenatchee and was localized. New fires can be expected to be sighted over the next few days as drying continues.
 
There is a Red Flag Warning until 11 p.m. Monday tonight for high winds, dry fuels and low humidity. This will increase fire activity in many of the affected areas. The long range forecast is for warmer and drier weather for the next week.  Local resources fighting the fires will be augmented by a Pacific Northwest Type-I Overhead Team which will assume command over the next 24-48 hours.
 
Hunters and other recreationists planning on entering the forest in the next two weeks are asked to be aware of the extremely dry conditions, ongoing fires, fire suppression activities and newly-posted Forest Closure Orders in place for public safety.


The 860-acre Canyons Fire, burning one mile west of Wenatchee, appears to be in close proximity to the Twin Peaks fire to the west, although low visibility hampers efforts to provide more details at this time. The fires are a result of the Saturday night lightning storm.
 
Homes along Number One Canyon Road west of Sage Hills Drive remain on a Level Three Evacuation Notice.  Areas between Surry Road and Sage Hills Drive that were under a Level 3 Evacuation status are now at Level 2 and Level 1 evacuations status levels. 
Due to fires burning in the Twin Peaks and nearby Peavine Canyon, a Level 2 Evacuation Notice was issued for residents of Number Two Canyon Road west of the Gun Club and for residents of Sties Canyon Road.
 
Approximately 160 firefighters from local agencies and around the state are fighting this fire.  Structure protection remains a key fire management objective. Local law enforcement personnel are staffing roadblocks and giving residents evacuation notices as needed.
 
Red Flag Warning conditions remain in effect with dry fuel conditions, low relative humidity, and wind gusts of up to 36 MPH in the Wenatchee area. Fire managers are concerned with the potential spread of fire to the northeast.  Additional fire growth is drawing attention to the southwest where are other fires are currently burning. 
 
Level 1, 2, and 3 Evacuation Status is akin to a “Ready, Set, Go” level of evacuation notices with Level 1 asking residents to be ready to evacuate if conditions change, Level 2 means residents should be set to go at a moment’s notice, Level 3 means authorities are advising residents to evacuate because their homes are in imminent danger.
 
A Red Cross shelter remains open at the Seventh Day Adventist Church located at 5th Street and Western Avenue in Wenatchee.
Current Chelan County Road Restrictions due to Fire Hazard (September 10, 2012)
 
Cashmere District
Mission Creek Road (at intersection with Tripp Canyon Road)
Sand Creek Road (at intersection with Mission Creek Road)
Downey Canyon Road (at the intersection with 97-A)
Johnson Creek Road
 
Entiat District
Crum Canyon Road (at intersection with Entiat River Road)
Osburn Canyon Road (at intersection with Crum Canyon Road)
Oklahoma Gulch Road (at intersection with 97-A)
 
Wenatchee District
Number 1 Canyon Road (Level 3 from intersection with Sage Hills Road)
Number 2 Canyon Road (Level 2 from gun club)
Austin Court
Austin Avenue
Day Drive
Lester Road west of Day Road
Sage Hills Drive
 
SAFETY REMINDER: For the safety of residents, emergency responders and the traveling public, Chelan County reminds motorists to stay away of restricted areas. This will allow for better mobility for responders and evacuation traffic.
 
 ***UPDATE 4:45pm, Monday 9/10***
 
Wind-fanned wild fires are proving challenging to crews battling across our listening area. The Canyon Fire outside Wenatchee is still officially estimated at 860 acres, and evacuation levels instituted this morning remain in place.
 
 
Several fires are burning in the Devils Gulch area, prompting level 2 evacuations (residents must be ready to leave at a moments notice) at #2 Canyon Road above the gun club and Mission Creek Rd at Sand Creek Junction North to Tripp Canyon.
 
The Byrd Complex fire near Entiat has prompted the closure of Highway 97-A. No time has been given for when the road might reopen.
 
A number of other small fires are being staffed and monitored throughout the area, all caused by lightening storms Saturday and fueled by high winds gusting to 35 miles per hour. A red flag warning remains in effect until 11pm tonight.
 
 
***UPDATE 3:30pm, Monday 9/10***
 
 
The Canyon Fire outside Wenatchee is still officially estimated at 860 acres, but spokeswoman Susan Peterson said high and ever changing winds have made accurate estimates difficult. Wind and dry fuels have also challenges fire fighting efforts, and a red flag warning remains in effect until 11pm tonight. Many homes remain under evacuation. A more in depth update is epected later this evening. Mary Small with the Chelan Douglas Health District said air quality is declining, and is unhealthy in cayons that are trapping wild fire smoke. Small said to avoid smoke, stay indoors with windows closed and AC or heating on a recycle setting.
 
 
***UPDATE 11:45am, Monday 9/10***
 
The Canyon Fire outside Wenatchee has grown to 860 acres. Also, highway 97-A is closed to northbound traffic at the tunnel, as another fire in the Entiat area is burning down towards the road at the north end of the tunnel. 97-A is closed to all northbound traffic between Knapps Hill and Pat & Mikes. The rest of the information in the latest update below remains current.
 
 
 
 
 
 
10:30AM, MONDAY 9/10***
 
Some 50 fires are burning within the Wenatchee River Ranger District, with more smoldering starts expected in high winds today. Top priority remains the Canyons Fire West of Wenatchee.
 
The Sunitch fire up Chumstick Highway outside of Leavenworth is now 50% contained. Crews had hoped to have that 5 acre blaze contained by working overnight. But winds gave smoke jumpers trouble, forcing them to land elsewhere and walk in to the fire. Mick Mueller with the Wenatchee River Ranger District said they hope for full containment today, but high winds and red flag conditions could prove challenging. The Pea Vine fire near #2 canyon and Posey Canyon fire outside Peshastin remain small 3-5 acre burns. They are staffed but not of huge concern.
 
The red flag warning remains in effect until 11pm tonight, and crews are working to staff the numerous other burns that have been reported.
 
The Canyons Fire, burning just west of Wenatchee, officially remains at 500 acres in size.  Only one out-building (a shed) has been damaged and nobody has been injured in this lightning caused fire that started Saturday night.
 
Approximately 160 firefighters from local agencies and around the state are fighting this fire where structure protection remains a key fire management objective.   Some 20 local law enforcement personnel are staffing roadblocks and giving residents evacuation notices.
 
Homes along Number One Canyon Road west of Sage Hills Drive and homes fronting wildlands from Westview Drive to Sage Hills Drive remain on a Level Three Evacuation Notice.  Law enforcement and fire managers are assessing whether to drop homes within the interior of this latter area between Westview Drive and Sage Hills Drive that do not front wildlands to a Level 1 Evacuation status.
 
Red Flag Warning conditions remain in effect with dry fuel conditions, low relative humidity, and wind gusts of up to 36 MPH forecast for the Wenatchee area.  Fire managers are focusing on the potential spread of the fire northeast towards the Broadview Subdivision, which consists of several dozen homes on the Northwest end of Wenatchee.  Because of this homes within this subdivision that front wildlands are being notified they are under a Level 2 Evacuation Status.  Homes within the interior of this subdivision are on a Level 1 Evacuation Status.
 
 
 
***update 8:40am, Monday 9/10***


***UPDATE 4:45pm, Monday 9/10***
 
Firefighters are expecting a tough day battling flames, as winds in excess of 40mph should blow tonight into tomorrow. The top priority for firefighters continues to be the “Canyons” fire, now listed anywhere between 500-700 acres. 200+ homes are under the most serious “Level 3” evacuation notice.
 
Areas under that Level 3 notice are:
Day Drive
Lester Road west of Day Road
Westwick Road
Westview Drive
Westmoreland Drive
 
Sheriff’s officials are preparing to also contact some residents of the Broadview area today, as well. Only one out building has been damaged in the fire.
 
A Red Cross shelter has been set up for those displaced at the Seventh Day Adventist Church located at 5th and Western in Wenatchee. 
 

***update: 4:23pm***

 

 
Local Red Cross has opened a shelter for those displaced by local fires at the 7th Day Adventist Church on 5th and Western in response to the level 3 evacuation notices for 100 homes up number One Canyon and in the Sage Hills Area.
 
Details are few at the moment, but multiple fire districts responding to a 5-10 acre fire burning near a ridgeline along Sunitch Canyon, off of the Chumstick Highway. 
 
 
***update: 1:15pm***
 
Chelan County Sheriff's officials tell KOHO there is now a Level 3 (residents heavily encouraged to leave, can not guarantee safety) evacuation notice for the upper part of #1 Canyon, west of Sage Hills. 
 
A Level 2 evacuation notice is still in effect for Sage Hills Drive, Austin Avenue, and #1 Canyon from Sage Hills through Shady Lane. 
 
On a positive note, firefighters say they are in "mop-up" mode for a fire burning in the Williams Canyon area near Dryden.
 
More info as we get it.
 
**update: 12:16pm***
 
Wenatchee River Ranger District Spokesperson Susan Peterson says an observation plane is in the air right now getting a better sense of the challenges facing firefighters today, and emergency officials should have a much better idea of what's burning and where within the hour. Peterson adds there is reported fire activity in the Devil's Gulch area, and a trailhead closure there is anticipated.
 
There is also fire reported in the Twin Peaks area, which is near the Canyons Fire. Also confirmed fires near Briskey Canyon, Brender Canyon, and additional fires in the Maverick Saddle area.

 
***update: 11:45am***
 
Fire officials say the #1 priority fire in the area is the fire burning near Number One Canyon, called the "Canyons Fire".  The burn was conservatively estimated at 10 acres, although that number is almost certainly larger now.  A helicopter equipped with a water bucket as well as a couple engines are fighting the fire right now.  Fire coordinators are calling for structure protection for an unknown number of homes in the Sage Hills area.  Rivercom officials have called for Level 2 Evacuation notices (be ready to leave at a moment's notice) for ALL of the Sage Hills area, as well as above Number One Canyon west of Sage Hills, including Austin Court.
 
Another larger fire reported is the 60 acre Williams Fire, located within the boundaries of the old Fischer Fire north of Dryden.  A smaller fire (2 acres) is currently burning in Judge Canyon.
 
Wenatchee River Ranger District Spokesperson Susan Peterson says an observation plane is in the air right now getting a better sense of the challenges facing firefighters today, and emergency officials should have a much better idea of what's burning and where within the hour.  Peterson adds there is reported fire activity in the Devil's Gulch area, and a trailhead closure there is anticipated.
 
There is also fire reported in the Twin Peaks area, which is near the Canyons Fire.  Also confirmed fires near Briskey Canyon, Brender Canyon, and additional fires in the Maverick Saddle area.
 
More updates as we get them.
 
Fire officials are in triage mode today, confirming dozens of smokes touched off by lightning strikes through the evening. The two largest fires officials are battling are up Williams Canyon in the Dryden area, and up Number 1 canyon outside of Wenatchee. Acreage not known on either of those burns at this time. Chelan County Sheriff’s officials alerted some residents of the Sage Hills area of a Level 1 (least serious) evacuation notices, while some residents of Williams Canyon were given level 2 evacuation notifications, letting them know to make preparations to leave at a moment’s notice if necessary. KOHO will let you know of any changes as the weather heats up and winds intensify today.