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Hansel Fire heading away from homes

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VALLEY HI — The Hansel Creek Fire burning near Ingalls Creek and the Valley Hi residential area in the Blewett Pass Corridor has turned away from homes lower in the valley close to Highway 97.

We had a pretty good day. There was some spectacular fire work with helicopters,” said Bob MacGregor, spokesman for the Chiwaukum Fire Complex including the Hansel Fire. Five helicopters worked the fire Tuesday and three today. They were able to dip water out of Ingalls Creek for a quick turnaround to help steer the fire, he said.

Homes along Ingalls Creek Road and Hansel Creek are still on highest evacuation levels. Valley Hi residents have also been told to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. But the fire has not backed down the mountain toward residences as fire officials feared might happen Tuesday.

MacGregor said the mountains sheilded the fire from winds that came up. Instead, the fire has been creeping westward towards the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area. MacGregor credited good firefighting aerial and ground work and a fortunate change in wind direction for making good progress on the fire today.

It’s not as much a threat to homes as we thought,” he said. “We’re trying to keep it moving in that direction.”

Reach Rick Steigmeyer at 509-664-7151 or . Read his blog Winemaker's Journal or follow him on Twitter at @steigmeyerww.

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