PLAIN — Gusty winds Wednesday evening on the Cougar Creek Fire created smoke columns visible from Plain and the Entiat River Valley.

A flare-up in the northwest portion caused the fire to make a run back into itself, according to the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. On the western edge of the fire, crews conducted burnouts to torch dry fuels.

Despite the large amounts of smoke, the fire only grew by about 160 acres and didn’t move toward any communities or structures, the news release says. The fire is estimated at 41,589-acres and 45 percent contained.

More burnouts are expected Thursday and crews will look for areas to build containment lines on the northern edge of the fire. Crews will continue mopping up and extinguishing hotspots.

Winds are expected to blow to the east, southeast on Thursday with gusts of 15 to 20 mph.

Management of the fire was transferred Wednesday to Pacific Northwest Team 3. Approximately 408 personnel are assigned to the fire.