CHELAN — Two Chelan-area wildfires were contained on Tuesday, but a new 300-acre fire is burning near Banks Lake in Grant County.
One 20-person crew and five engines will remain today on the 800-acre Navarre Fire, using infrared cameras to detect hotspots, said fire spokeswoman Sarah Foster.
Most of the remaining 300 people assigned to the blaze northwest of Chelan will demobilize today, she said.
The 110-acre Chelan Butte Fire is also contained, and crews are monitoring that fire.
And the 40-acre Decker Fire near Entiat has been lined, but is not yet contained, Foster said.
Douglas County Fire District 2 firefighters also contained a 75- to 100-acre fire on Rock Island Grade Road on Tuesday.
Fire Chief Chuck Fenton said lightning caused that blaze, reported at 2:50 a.m. He said one corral was damaged, but there were no structures destroyed by the fire. “We’re just keeping an eye on it now,” he said.
But firefighters are still battling a new fire near Banks Lake, called the Cashe Butte Fire, that grew to over 300 acres after it was first spotted at 12:20 p.m. Tuesday.
“We’re about 50 percent contained, but it’s just really rocky, tough terrain,” Janet Rogers, incident commander for a statewide management team assigned to the fire.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, she said. It will likely be at least two more days before crews can gain control of the fire, she said.
Weather forecasters say firefighters can expect tough firefighting conditions for the rest of this week. “There’s no chance of precipitation, other than localized rainfall with the slight chance of thunderstorms on Friday,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Carter.
He said strong westerly winds on Thursday night and Friday morning could also hamper firefighting.
“This is just the beginning of fire season, and it’s going to continue to be hot and dry,” Foster said. “We want to remind people to do everything they can to make sure sparks stay out of the forest, whether it’s from campfires, vehicles or welding,” she said.
K.C. Mehaffey: 997-2512