Updated, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

MALAGA — Command of the Colockum Fire was transferred to local firefighters Tuesday.

With the fire almost 2,967-acre fire almost completely contained, the Type 3 Southeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team, managers of the fire since Saturday, departed the fire for another in Tonasket.

One outbuilding was damaged Friday in the fire, but not destroyed, according to a news release Tuesday from the management team.

The team cautioned that due to high temperatures in the forecast and dry vegetation, the area is prone to another fire. 


MALAGA — Officials have begun to release firefighters from the Colockum Fire as containment nears 100%.

Estimated at 2,967 acres, crews spent Monday tightening the perimeter and extinguished spot fires inside its footprint, according to a news release Monday evening from the Type 3 Southeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team. The fire started Friday afternoon on Kingsbury Road and has since charred hillside in the surrounding area. The Colockum has caught fire three times in the last seven years. The Spartan Fire in 2017 burned more than 8,700 acres.

Management of the fire will be transferred to a local team at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

By Monday evening, the Colockum Fire was considered 90% contained and the fire line is holding, the release said. The cause remains under investigation. Officials haven't confirmed whether any structures were damaged, though at one point 110 homes were threatened.

Colockum, Kingsbury and Jumpoff roads are under a Level 1 evacuation notice, which advises residents to be aware of the nearby fire. The three roads are also closed to the public.


MALAGA — After securing hot spots on the western edge of the fire overnight, firefighters estimated the Colockum Fire 80% contained on Monday morning. 

Crews will continue to improve containment lines and, now that activity has slowed, will use GPS to create more detailed maps of the fire area, according to a news release from the Type 3 Southeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team.

Air operations have already been released from the incident and some ground crews will also be sent home, according to the release.


Sunday updates:

MALAGA — Evacuation notices were lowered for several roads Sunday afternoon as crews improved their handle on the Colockum Fire, which was last estimated at 3,337 acres.

Colockum, Kingsbury and Jumpoff roads were lowered from Level 3 to Level 2, according to Chelan County Emergency Management.

Tarpiscan Road, Timberline Lane, Sherron Lane and Big Springs Ranch Road were lowered from Level 2 to Level 1. All the lowered notices were effective as of 3 p.m. Sunday.

At one point 110 homes were threatened by the fire, according to a Sunday evening release from the Type 3 Southeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team. 

Aided by lighter winds and milder temperatures, crews made significant progress Sunday, according to the release. 

Containment lines were built in places that had previously been hard to access and existing lines were widened to at least 100 feet. Hot spots on the northwest edge of the fire, near Jumpoff Road, were also a point of focus. 

Nine fire crews, 28 engines, three dozers and four water tenders were deployed on the fire Sunday evening.


Saturday updates:

The Colockum Fire was estimated late Saturday night at approximately 1,759 acres with 25% containment.

After a relatively quiet morning, warmer temperatures and winds kicked the fire up around 11 a.m. Saturday, sending up a smoke plume above Wenatchee Heights. Patches of thick brush and small pockets of timber kept it burning through the day.

The new activity Saturday burned around 1,000 acres of vegetation, according to a news release from the Type 3 Southeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team, which took control of the fire early Saturday morning. 

Smoke was visible up the Wenatchee Valley through Olds Station down the Columbia River past Malaga. By the evening the smoke had begun to settle in the upper foothills. Around 60 fire personnel were expected to be on the fire through the night.

But the majority of the smoke plume was pushed south toward Kittitas County, according to a map from the U.S. Air Quality Index. An air quality monitor on 5th Street in Wenatchee listed the quality as “good” all day before dipping into "moderate" overnight. 

Evacuation notices remain in place for several roads near the fire. Kingsbury Road and Colockum Road are still on Level 3 — get out — notices.

Some houses on nearby Jumpoff Road were issued Level 3 notices Friday — those were expanded Saturday evening to include the entire road.

Tarpiscan Road residents have been issued Level 2 — be ready — notices. Additional Level 2 — be ready — notices were issued for Timberline Lane, Sherron Lane and Big Springs Ranch Road, all of which are off of Stemilt Loop Road.

Several aircraft executed water and retardant drops throughout the day. A trio of helicopters circled between the fire and the Columbia River, filling their buckets below Rock Island Dam.

Colockum Road was closed at the cross of Tarpiscan Road to all except fire personnel and residents. A few miles past the roadblock, hills on both sides of Colockum Road were scorched, a World reporter saw on a tour accompanied by a fire official.

Screen Shot 2020-07-25 at 7.46.53 PM.png

This map shows the approximate spread of the smoke plume from the Colockum Fire, which is burning near Malaga. 

No damage to structures has been reported, but the fire came close to several and within feet of at least one home, which was in the 7400 block of Colockum Road.

Fire activity was focused on the crest of a ridge north of Kingsbury Road. Fire crews were staged in a pasture just below. 

Power was knocked out in Malaga Friday but was restored by Saturday, Chelan PUD spokeswoman Rachel Hansen said.

The state mobilization team established a fire camp at Lincoln Elementary in Wenatchee. It had 282 personnel, 32 engines, 3 dozers and four water tenders to deploy Saturday, according to the release.

Red Cross sheltering is available for residents evacuated from the Colockum Fire.

However, because of COVID-19 precautions, Red Cross workers can't set up a shelter and wait for residents in need, Sgt. Kent Sisson with Chelan County Emergency Management. said Friday. Instead, evacuees must call ahead and coordinate with a Red Cross worker. The local Red Cross can be reached at 670-5331.

To qualify for Red Cross sheltering, evacuees must be residents of areas under Level 3 or 2 notices, Sisson said.

The fire was reported at 2:06 p.m. Friday by someone who saw smoke from two miles away, Chelan County 1 spokeswoman Kay McKellar said Friday. Officials ordered a third-alarm response at 3:35 p.m., McKellar said.

Pete O'Cain: 664-7152

ocain@wenatcheeworld.com or

on Twitter@peterocain