Updated, 1:40 p.m. Friday: PLAIN — The Cougar Creek Fire is 50 percent contained, fire officials say.

Crews are concentrating on the northern edge of the wildfire where they’re looking to build containment lines between Signal Peak and Cougar Meadow, according a news release from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

The northern portion is the only area of the 41,704-acre fire without solid containment, said spokesman Jacob Welsh in a Friday morning Facebook briefing.

Crews are conducting burnouts on the western edge, which produces smoke, but is crucial to securing the fireline, the news release says.

In other areas of the fire, crews are mopping up hot spots and patrolling the fire line.

As the fire becomes more controlled, more personnel are being released from their assignment. Currently, 381 personnel are working the wildfire.

 

PLAIN — Burnouts and flare-ups in recent days have increased smoke visibility on the Cougar Creek Fire, but growth has been minimal.

Crews conducted burnouts on the northern edge of the fire Thursday to torch dry fuels, according to the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. They continue to look for areas to build containment lines, mop up and extinguish hotspots.

A flare-up Wednesday created smoke columns seen from Plain and the Entiat River Valley. But winds pushed flames back into already-burned portions of the fire and it only grew by about 160 acres. It's estimated at 41,589 acres and 45 percent contained.

The fire is under new management as Pacific Northwest Team 3 took command on Wednesday from Northwest Team 10. Approximately 408 personnel are assigned to the fire.

Level 1 evacuations (be aware) remain in place for residents in the Chiwawa Loop Road area and along Entiat River Road from milepost 16.5 to the end of the road.