WENATCHEE — As the 800-acre Navarre Fire near Chelan began winding down Monday, lightning storms sparked a half dozen new fires in North Central Washington, and fire officials expect more to show themselves today.
The good news for firefighters is that weather forecasters are seeing no new thunderstorms on the horizon.
But there’s also no end in sight for the hot weather that’s settled into the region.
Monday’s high at Pangborn Memorial Airport near East Wenatchee hit 101 degrees — not quite as high as forecasters predicted, but still more than 15 degrees higher than Wenatchee’s average temperature during the second week in July.
The biggest new fire is the 100-acre Rock Island Grade Fire, reported at 2:50 a.m. today on the hill off Rock Island Grade Road. No homes are threatened, but six local fire departments are now working to fight that blaze in a rocky area heavy with grass and brush, according to Douglas County Fire District 2 Chief Chuck Fenton.
Highway 28 remains open, but the public is asked to drive carefully and watch for fire equipment in that area.
The other two major fires are near Chelan, including the human-caused Navarre Fire, now 95 percent contained, and the 110-acre Chelan Butte Fire, which is 75 percent contained.
Some 250 firefighting personnel are assigned to those blazes. No homes are threatened.
Fire spokeswoman Sarah Foster said firefighters will be working for the next several days to strengthen firelines.. Pockets of fuel will continue to burn within the interior, she said.
There were also two minor injuries on Monday. One firefighter suffered a heat-related problems and returned home Monday night, while another was treated for an insect sting or bite.
The Chelan Butte Fire caused the cancelation of a paragliding event on Monday, but paragliders are hoping to find safer conditions today.
Doug Stroop, meet director for the Chelan XC Open Paragliding Competition, said the paragliding area was not burning, but firefighters needed to restrict the air space to fight the fire. “It looks like they hit it pretty hard, so hopefully, we’ll be flying for the rest of the week,” he said.
The only other big fire in the region is the 40-acre Decker Canyon Fire near Entiat, which is fully contained and being mopped up, said Jim Duck, dispatch coordinator for the Central Washington Interagency Communications Center.
Other fires contained at less than one acre were also contained in Potato Creek near Entiat, Fairview Canyon and one in the Colockum area.
He said the lightning storm that passed through the region Monday night traveled mostly east of Wenatchee, and up through the Colville Indian Reservation and Tonasket.
“As far as new starts, we didn’t have anything during the night, that we’ve heard of yet,” he said.
Fire officials will be on the lookout for new starts as today’s temperatures climb back into the upper 90s.
On Monday, Entiat saw the hottest temperatures in the region, at 106 degrees, said Matt Fugazzi, meteorologist of the National Weather Service.
“It’s not going to be quite as warm as yesterday,” he said. “But we’re going to continue in this summer-like pattern, with temperatures well above normal.”
Forecasters predict temperatures in the high-90s to 100 degrees for the rest of the week, he said.
The hot weather might also cause flooding in the Stehekin River, due to rapid snowmelt, he said.
No other rivers in the region are expected to flood, Fugazzi said.
K.C. Mehaffey: 997-2512