CHELAN — A fast moving brush fire destroyed two Chelan area structures, closed busy Highway 97 for four hours and charred about 15 acres of steep hillside Saturday afternoon.
Firefighters were called to a brush fire at about 12:30 p.m. Rusty Stamps, Chelan Fire Department’s assistance chief, said the fire is believed to have been caused by a tractor that rolled down the hill in an area close to where Highway 97A and Highway 97 meet. The driver of the tractor was injured but was able to leave the area before the fire started. His name and condition is still unknown.
The fire spread quickly uphill east of the Chelan airport and torched two structures at the top of the hill. One was a manufactured home. The other is believed to be a warehouse for a Chelan area winery. There were no other injuries, said Stamps, although some firefighters were treated for heat related illnesses. Firefighters for the three-alarm call came from Chelan County District 7, District 8, Okanogan County District 15, Douglas County District 1, District 2 and Chelan County District 1.
Washington State Patrol Trooper Darren Wright said Highway 97A was closed for several hours due to smoke from the fire, but reopened at 4:20 p.m. Saturday.