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Skyline Drive fire threatens homes; 100 firefighters on scene

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Matt Howard throws sagebrush clear of the fire line as a wildfire threatens homes on Skyline Drive in Wenatchee early Sunday morning. He is a firefighter for the forest service based out of the Entiat Ranger District.

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Updated at 6:15 a.m. Sunday

WENATCHEE — Eight homes on Skyline Drive were evacuated early Sunday morning as a brush fire moved up the hillside behind them, spreading to several ridge lines and creating a fiery glow visible from throughout the Wenatchee area.

The fire, reported at 2:15 a.m., came within 20 feet of one house in the 1500 block of Skyline Drive, said fire spokeswoman Kay McKellar.

No structures had burned as of 6 a.m. Numerous residents along Skyline Drive were told to be ready to evacuate and fire officials were beginning to tell residents up No. 2 Canyon the same thing at 6 a.m.

Officers woke residents at three of the homes first threatened by the fire and told them they needed to leave said. Firefighters stationed trucks at each of the residences, said Sgt. Edgar Reinfeld of the Wenatchee Police Department.

Winds were calm early Sunday, but the National Weather Service predicted a west wind would blow 8 to 13 mph later in the day. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

About 100 firefighters were on the fire scene Sunday morning, McKellar said.

In addition to many firefighters from Chelan and Douglas counties, they included crews from the U.S. Forest Service and the state Department of Natural Resources.

At dawn, a helicopter from Chelan County Fire District 1 was dropping water on the fire. The Red Cross was opening a shelter at the Seventh-day Adventist Church at Fifth Street and Western Avenue.

 

Reach Dee Riggs at 509-664-7147 or .