UPDATE: 7 p.m. Sunday | Crews hit new Lost Lake Fire from the air

Photo provided/InciWeb Smoke from the Gilbert Fire, which is burning in the headwaters of the Twisp River Valley, is seen Thursday from the end of the Twisp River Road.

FISH LAKE — Fire crews are making an air attack on the new Lost Lake Fire, which was reported about 4 p.m. Sunday north of Maverick Saddle above Fish Lake.

A plane dropped retardant and helicopters are making bucket drops, according to a report from Lake Wenatchee Fire and Rescue. The size is currently estimated at less than 50 acres.

Smokejumpers have been ordered.

From the ground, crews are working on widening existing fire breaks and roads from Burgess Meadows to Little Chumstick in preparation for winds and warmer weather that are expected Monday.

Updates are being posted on the Lake Wenatchee Fire and Rescue Facebook page.

 

FISH LAKE — A new fire has been reported near Blue Creek, north of Maverick Saddle above Fish Lake. This is west of the main body of the Cougar Creek Fire.

According to the Central Washington Interagency Communications Center incident listing, which refers to it as the "Lost Fire," it was reported about 4 p.m. Sunday and was initially estimated at about 2 acres.

Resources from the Cougar Creek Fire are being sent to help with the initial attack efforts. For information see the Cougar Creek Fire Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/cougarcreekfire/

Details will be added as they become available.

 

ENTIAT — The Level 3 evacuation levels in place for the past several days in the Entiat Valley have been reduced to level 2 as of noon Sunday.

The Level 2 evacuations remain in effect from Mad River Road north to milepost 24.5, according to a statement from the Chelan County Sheriff's Office.

"The immediate threat to residents in the area has decreased, but there is enough of a fire presence in the area to maintain Level 2," the statement said. Level 2 is be set to leave. Level 3 is get out now.

The U.S. Forest Service campgrounds north of milepost 24.5 remain closed and the forest closure order remains in effect. for more about forest closure areas, go to https://bit.ly/2Mkkmoke2lX.

The meeting for 6 p.m. at the Entiat Fire Station is still scheduled.

 

ENTIAT — A public meeting about the Cougar Creek Fire is set for 6 p.m. Sunday at the Entiat Fire Station, 2200 Entiat Way.

Fire managers and personnel from the local fire district, U.S. Forest Service and California Interagency Incident Management Team 5 will report on the fire’s progress and be available to answer questions.

Overnight Saturday fire crews monitored spot fires west of the Tyee Ridge and patrolled the Entiat River Valley, according to Sunday morning’s press release.

Sunday’s plan was to continue to work from the ground and the air on spot fires on the east side of the fire, improve old fireline built during previous fires and connect them to existing roads and trails.

Crews also are working on the southwest side of the fire, northeast of Plain, “identifying opportunities to increase defensible space around structures” should the fire head in that direction. Some sprinklers also are being placed around key locations.

Evacuation levels remain the same.

 

 

NCW — Wildires near Entiat and Twisp continued to expand over the weekend with fire crews protecting homes in river valleys in case the lightning-caused fires make runs as temperatures warm. 

Smoke settling in the region pushed the air quality meters into the unhealthy range for Twisp Saturday and "unhealthy for sensitive groups" for most of the rest of the region. That's not likely to change in the near future. To check on air quality, go to https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa/.

Here's what was known about the fires Saturday:

<> The Cougar Creek Fire above the Entiat River Valley grew to more than 4,200 acres as of Saturday afternoon. Evacuation levels were unchanged. 

The fire had burned about 3,600 acres by Friday, up from about 1,600 acres Thursday.

The fire is moving east, but also fanning out and burning back on itself, said Norma Brock, a spokeswoman for Northwest Interagency Incident Management Team 11.

“It didn’t make any runs. It’s spotting to the east ahead of itself and we’ve had pockets of unburned islands in the area that continue to be consumed,” she said.

The eastern perimeter is still west of Tyee Ridge, but moving into the area previously burned by the Tyee fire, with lots of dead and downed trees.

In addition to focusing on protecting homes and structures in the Entiat Valley, fire crews are paying attention to power lines to the south, Brock said.

In a video update posted on the the Cougar Creek Fire Facebook page Saturday, Shannon Prather, operations chief with California Incident Interagency Management Team 5, which took over Saturday morning, said the crews also were working on keeping the fire from moving into the Mad River drainage.

Crews hit the area with fire retardant Thursday to help slow the spread in that direction.

"The reason for doing that is to protect the community of Plain," he said. "Structure protection resources also are moving into that area in case the fire did make a north push." 

The smoke was heavy early Saturday in the Entiat Valley. Winds were not expected to be too bad Saturday, though some gusts were expected on the ridges, Brock said.

The evacuation notices on Saturday affected about 100 homes.

An American Red Cross Shelter is open at the Warehouse Community Church, 14916 Highway 97A, Entiat. For trailer parking and primitive camping, call Stucco by Alex at 509-421-7999.

The lightning-caused fire started July 28.

<> The Bannock Lakes Fire, burning about 17 miles west of Stehekin, and the Whitepine Fire, about 3 miles south of Stevens Pass in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, are both less than 50 acres and being monitored by air because of the steep terrain. Both are lightning-cause.

<> 151-acre Navarre Fire, which started about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday along Navarre Coulee Road between Highway 97 and Highway 971, is 100 percent contained. Crews continue to mop up and check containment lines. The cause remains under investigation.

<> The Gilbert and Crescent Mountain fires, burning about 21 miles west of Twisp, grew to about 7,000 acres total by Saturday morning.

The two fires were expected to burn together, but that had not yet happened as of Saturday, though they are being managed by the same incident management team. The Gilbert Fire was at about 38 acres. The Crescent Mountain Fire was 6,000 and growing 

Level 2 evacuation notices (be set to leave) have been issued for residents above the road closure at the intersection of Buttermilk Road and Twisp River Road. The fire is expected to continue to move to the east, which could put residents in the upper Twisp River area on Level 3 (leave now) evacuation notices, according to a Saturday news release from the  Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

The fire’s growth has been mostly to the southeast into Williams Creek.

About 110 personnel were working the fire as of Saturday morning. Fire crews are gearing up to protect structures in the Twisp River drainage. A Type 1 Incident Management team has arrived to take command of the fire.

The lightning-sparked fires were reported July 28.

<> The Miriam Fire, about 2 miles east of the White Pass Ski Area in the Goat Rocks Wilderness in the Naches Ranger District, had burned about 800 acres as of noon Saturday. 

The fire, also believed to be lightning-caused, was reported Monday.