COLES CORNER — Chiwaukum Creek Fire has grown to 10,120 acres, but remains west of Highway 2, as crews arrive from across the country bolster the 534 personnel already fighting the fire.
The fire is burning hot, but not too fast, in the old footprint of the Hatchery Burn of 1992, fire spokesman Bob MacGregor said this morning. No structures have been reported lost in this fire.
Evacuation levels are unchanged from Friday afternoon, when Ponderosa and Plain River Road were lowered from Level 3 (get out now), to Level 2 (be ready to go).
Highway 2 between Leavenworth and Coles Corner remains closed. Chumstick Highway is open with access on to Highway 2 west of the roadblock.
None of the fire is contained, but the crews will continue work today to build a bulldozer line along the fire’s north edge to keep it contained west of Highway 2, MacGregor said.
Temperatures will be lower today and humidity a little higher, which is good for fire fighting, although winds are expected to again be strong, said fire spokesman Bob MacGregor.
Four new 20-person crews arrived Friday evening from Minnesota and Wisconsin. Helicopters will be working the fire today, MacGregor said.
The fire jumped Highway 2 in one, shovel-size area Friday, but fire fighters extinguished it quickly, MacGregor said.
About 200 people showed up Friday for a community fire meeting in Plain. Another meeting is scheduled today at 6:30 p.m. at Cascade High School in Leavenworth. The next fire update will be at noon today.
The Mills Canyon Fire near Entiat is 75-percent contained and remains at 22,571 acres, MacGregor said. Mop-up work has begun, and equipment continues to be pulled off this fire to help with other North Central Washington fires. Crews did an infrared flight last night and discovered a few hot spots that they’re taking care of today. Personnel on this fire totals 411.
The Chiwaukum Creek and Mills Canyon fires are part of the Mills Canyon Complex, which also includes two other Entiat-area fires:
- The Kelly Mountain Fire grew to about 20 acres yesterday. It’s buring about 3 miles west of the Silver Falls Campground off Entiat River Road on very high, mountainous groud, MacGregor said. Eight smoke jumpers are working the fire with support from helicopters.
- The 840-acre Duncan Fire is north of Entiat River Road and about 3 miles north of the Cottonwood guard station. It’s burning in an area of relatively low fuels, mostly sub-alpine fir and rocks, MacGregor said. No effort to fight the fire was made Friday, but crews are evaluating it today.
Christine Pratt: 665-1173