Updated, 11:50 a.m. Tuesday: ENTIAT — At noon Tuesday, Level 3 evacuations (leave now) are in effect for homes along Entiat River Road from Potato Creek to milepost 25 on both sides of the road, according to Chelan County Emergency Management.
The fire advanced to the head of Grandma Creek. Structure protection groups are in place along Entiat River Road in the Level 3 zone, according to the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
A Red Cross shelter is on standby at Warehouse Community Church, 14916 Highway 97A, Entiat. The Red Cross can be reached at 663-3907.
Updated, 9:15 a.m. Tuesday: ENTIAT — Fire officials are reporting that the Cougar Fire is now about 6,169 acres.
A crew of 700 personnel, with four aircrafts, 36 engines and nine bulldozers are shared between it and the Lost Fire outside of Plain, according to the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest office.
Burnout operations were halted Monday due to increased fire activity. The fire moved into the Grandma Creek and Young Creek drainages late Monday and remained active into the early hours of Tuesday. Crews are headed back to the area to reassess firefighting options.
Update, 8:05 a.m. Tuesday: ENTIAT — The Cougar Creek Fire northwest of Entiat grew by about 300 acres Monday to 4,418.
The fire is most active on the northern and eastern flanks, moving upslope in the area of Billy Creek and spotted across Tyee Ridge and into Grandma Creek, according to Type 1 team managing the fire.
The 75-acre Lost Fire outside of Plain is being fought by a team of smokejumpers, rappellers and hotshots, along with aircrafts.
NCW — The Cougar Creek Fire has shown little growth in recent days, but is still actively burning in its interior.
The 4,154-acre fire is burning 20 miles northwest of Entiat in thick dead and down timber and is creeping and backing down steep rugged terrain, the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest wrote in a news release.
The fire is managed by a Type 1 incident management team from California and 677 personnel are assigned to the fire.
Spot fires on the east and south side are being worked so that existing roads and trails can be used to establish a continuous perimeter around the fire, the release says. The north and west sides of the fire are relatively stable and the east side near Tyee Ridge is holding.
On Sunday, crews installed sprinklers and portable pumps to protect homes in the Entiat Valley, removed brush and dead timber near homes in the Entiat Valley and Plain, linked containment lines, and burned vegetation along the south and southeast perimeter.
Level 2 evacuations (be set to leave) are in effect from Mad River Road to Entiat River Road milepost 24.5. Forest Service campgrounds remain closed, as does the forest closure.
The Lost Lake Fire, sparked several days ago by lightning about nine miles north of Plain, is estimated to be less than 50 acres. Crews, along with an air tanker, made an initial attack on Sunday, and on Monday 16 smokejumpers will assess the fire from the ground and help fire managers develop a strategy.
Officials are monitoring two more lightning-caused fires of less than 50 acres in remote areas: The Bannock Lakes Fire 17 miles west of Stehekin in the Glacier Peaks Wilderness, and the Whitepine Fire 19 miles northwest of Leavenworth in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
Pete O’Cain: 664-7152