Chelan Complex Fire Update, August 18
Incident: Chelan Complex Wildfire
Significant progress was made on the Chelan area fires over the last 24 hours. Crews continued structure protection efforts on several fire fronts, while building containment lines where possible. Resources from several agencies have been working to protect homes, contain the fires, and begin mop-up.
Firefighters remain focused on extended attack both day and night, and are working offensively to implement a containment strategy. Teams from the Washington Department of Natural Resources, State Fire Marshal, and Washington National Guard are assisting in this effort. A night shift of seven state-mobilized strike teams (of five engines each) are assisting with firefighting activities. Six helicopters are dropping water, shuttling crews, and conducting reconnaissance missions. Two fixed wing aircraft are conducting water and retardant drops as needed.
Chelan Complex: The most active growth over the last 24 hours occurred on the western perimeter, burning west into Union Valley towards Cooper Ridge. Crews worked day and night to provide structure protection, construct containment lines, and control spotting. On the southern and eastern fire perimeters, firefighters built several miles of containment line and crews began mopping up 200 feet into the perimeter. Today crews will provide point protection for structures and infrastructure, look for unburned fuel flare-ups, continue mop-up, and build dozer line along parts of Cooper Ridge and FS Road 8020.
Black Canyon and McFarland Creek fires are actively burning in timber, brush, and short grass approximately 8 miles west of Pateros, in Okanogan County. Fire behavior is extreme with crowning, flanking and spotting. Crews will conduct burnout operations from Cooper Road to the southeast fire edge. Indirect attack strategies will be used to direct the flames away from infrastructure and direct attack strategies will be used when possible. The fire is in very steep terrain and many locations do not safely allow for dozers or handcrews to build line.
First Creek Fire remains very active, with crowning and spotting and continues to threaten residences along South Lake Shore Road, Lake Chelan State Park, First Creek Rd, and SR 971. Dozers constructed line along the northeast perimeter from the lakeshore about a mile up the ridge. Dozers also built line on the southern perimeter from the lakeshore to Navarre Coulle, while crews began digging handline along the western perimeter. Firefighters continue to provide structure protection, and control for spotting. The fire is near the Cove area on the northeast corner, remains north of First Creek, and has not reached Lake Chelan State Park.
Wolverine Fire: The fire stayed within planned containment lines and remains in check on Hilgard Pass. Firefighters continue mop-up and structure protection in Holden Village. Several resources have been removed from this fire to assist with extended attack on the other fires. Level 3 evacuations remain for Holden Village, Lucerne, Domke Lake, Riddle, and Lightning Creek.
Weather: Light northwest winds 3-5 mph in the morning; southerly winds 8-12 mph in the afternoon. Relative humidity at 20-25% with temperatures in the high 80s.
Closure Information: Extensive trail and area closures on Forest Service lands remain in effect, more information available on InciWeb. Contact Washington State Department of Transportation or Chelan County Emergency Management for information about Chelan area road closures. Contact Douglas County Emergency Management for road closures in Douglas County.
Evacuation/Aid Information: Level 3 evacuations in place for approximately 2,900 residents in the greater Chelan area. Evacuation information available from Chelan County Emergency Management. Red Cross shelters are established at MOE Elementary, 407 East Woodin Ave, Chelan; Sterling Middle School, 600 North James Street, East Wenatchee; and Brewster High School, 503 S 7th St, Brewster.
Douglas County Emergency Management: 509-888-6841
Chelan County Emergency Management: 509-667-6863
Okanogan Emergency Management: 509-422-7207
Red Cross: 509-663-3907
Chelan County PUD: 877-783-8123
Washington State Patrol: 509-682-8090