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Updated: Windy conditions push Chiwaukum Fire to north, south

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The largest orange area shown is the Carlton Compex fire. Immediately to its southwest, near Highway 97, is the Mills Canyon Fire. The green triangles west of these fires are, from north to south, the Lone Mountain Fire buring in remote terrain; the Duncan Fire; the Kelly Mountain Fire; and the Chiwaukum Creek Fire. The large body of water that runs between the fires is Lake Chelan. Source:

 Update,8 p.m. — Firefighters today battled windy conditions that pushed the Chiwaukum Creek Fire to 11,444 acres. The fire moved north and into the Thompson Creek area. Crews will backburn in that area Monday to eliminate fuels and strengthen the fireline, fire spokeswoman Connie Mehmel said this evening. The fire also grew along its southern edge to Icicle Ridge. The area is hard to fight because of rough terraine, she said. Winds in the area are expected to get stronger in the coming days and humidity to drop, challenging firefighters. It rained a little Saturday, but conditions remain very dry, she said. Some National Guard members are expected to arrive tomorrow to help out, she said. No structures have been reported lost in this fire. Evacuation levels remain the same, she said.

Other fires in this complex remained relatively stable. The Duncan Fire reached 800 acres. Crews plan to remove some trees to reduce fuel and protect cabins at the end of Entiat River Road, she said. Structure protection will continue there. The Kelly Mountain Fire held at 120 acres. It’s remote and threatens no structures. The Mills Canyon Fire near Entiat stayed quiet. It remains 75-percent contained, she said.

The next fire briefing will be at 6 a.m. Monday.


LEAVENWORTH — Cooler temperatures, much higher humidity and, later next week, maybe a little rain are expected to help firefighters battling the 10,435-acre Chiwaukum Creek Fire, in Tumwater Canyon, some 6 miles north of Leavenworth.

Winds over the next few days are still expected to come from the north-northwest, fire spokesman Nick Mickel said this morning, but won’t blow as hard. Humidity is forecast to increase from the teens to as much as 65 percent, and temperatures on the ridge tops will cool to the mid 70s from the triple digits records only days ago.

Fires have been reorganized. The Mills Canyon Fire, burning near Entiat, is now its own incident. The Chiwaukum Creek, Kelly Mountain and Duncan fires are now being managed together as the “Chiwaukum Complex,” Mickel said.

The 120-acre Kelly Mountain fire is burning in a rocky, remote region of subalpine fir and isn’t threatening structures, Mickel said. The 889-acre Duncan Fire has the potential to threaten some cabins at the end of Entiat River Road. Crews will work on structure protection there today, building of work done there when fire swept through in 2012.

Some 838 personnel are assigned to the Chiwaukum Complex, up five crews from Sunday. No structures have been reported lost in this fire.

The Chiwaukum Complex, the massive Carlton Complex in Okanogan and northeast Chelan counties and the Mills Canyon Fire are this morning within the country’s top five highest-priority fires. That means they have priority for limited fire-fighting resources, officials said.

Reach Christine Pratt at 509-665-1173 or . Follow her on Twitter at @CPrattWW.

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