Update: Antoine Creek Fire grows to 4,000 acres overnight
Crews attack the blaze from ground and air
Originally published August 5, 2012 at 12:21 p.m., updated August 6, 2012 at 10:02 a.m.
The fire was reported just before noon Sunday. An initial error on the report time has been corrected in this version of the story.
PATEROS — The Antoine Creek Fire south of Pateros quadrupled in size overnight to 4,000 acres and has provoked fire warnings to about 30 campers and property owners in and around Alta Lake State Park.
The fire, which was reported around noon Sunday near the intersection of Apple Acres and Antoine Creek roads, is burning in heavy sage and timber on steep terrain. The cause isn’t immediately known.
About 200 personnel from county, state and federal agencies are assigned to the fire. No injuries have been reported.
Crews are flying over to assess resource needs this morning. Fire spokesman Jeff Sevigney said air support from tankers or helicopters would likely be a part of today’s effort, which also includes ground crews, bulldozers, and water tenders.
A Level 1 evacuation notice — to be aware of potential danger and monitor media reports — is in effect for area property owners.
“Several homes in Alta Lake area, around the golf course and developments — that’s an area we’re very concerned about,” Sevigney said. “That’s in the path of the fire right now.”
Hot temperatures today and changing winds could challenge firefighters.
Northwest winds this morning of 5 to 6 mph are expected to shift to the south and increase slightly. Gusty and erratic winds are expected as thunderstorms, forecasted today, grow near.
Portions of Highway 97 and Antoine Creek Road that were closed yesterday are again open, Sevigney said, but the public is urged to stay out of the area if possible.
The Chelan County PUD reports that power is out to about 55 meters in the vicinity of Highway 97 near Wells Dam. These include homes and irrigation outbuildings. Six pole structures have burned. Crews are at the scene and at work.
The fire has so far not affected air quality in Wenatchee. Air quality in the Chelan area wasn’t available this morning on the state Department of Ecology website.
Firefighters have the upper hand in two other fires still smoldering in the area.
Sunday morning, they contained another fire ignited by a campfire that was left unattended in Schaefer Creek off the Chiwawa River Road. Forest Service crews are mopping up that fire today, said Susan Peterson, spokeswoman for the Wenatchee River Ranger District.
She said people working or recreating in the woods should be aware of changing fire conditions, and the potential for additional campfire or chainsaw restrictions today.
No immediate update was available this morning on the Crane Road fire near Bridgeport, which was 95 percent contained by Sunday afternoon. Command of the fire has been returned to Douglas County.
A Douglas County Sheriff’s Office investigation revealed that the fire was started by orchard crews burning weeds. The fire blackened 12,000 acres.
World reporter K.C. Mehaffey contributed to this report.
Christine Pratt: 665-1173
This following story was filed around 4:40 p.m. Sunday
CHELAN — At least 14 homes and outbuildings are threatened by a grass-and-brush fire that broke out this morning northwest of Chelan. It has now grown to about 1,000 acres.
Chelan County Sheriff's deputies have notified the owners of 14 homes of the danger and advised them to stay informed, Cpl. Jason Reinfeld, sheriff's spokesman, said this afternoon.
Eleven of the threatened homes are on Antoine Creek Road and three are on Highway 97 near Wells Dam, Reinfeld said.
State, federal and Chelan County crews are attacking the fire from the ground and air using two large air tankers and three helicopters, which are dipping from the Columbia River, Brant Stanger, spokesman for the Central Washington Interagency Communications Center said this afternoon.
The fire is burning toward the north in grass, brush and some isolated timber. It was reported just before noon off of Highway 97 near the intersection of Apple Acres Road and East Antoine Creek Road.
As of at least 4 p.m., Apple Acres Road was closed to through traffic from Howard Flats Road to Highway 97, Reinfeld said. Only people who live in the area are being allowed to pass.
Look for another update as more information becomes available.
Christine Pratt: 665-1173