Chelan Complex News Release

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Chelan Complex News Release

Fire Update - August 20

Incident: Chelan Complex Wildfire
Released: 8/20/2015

Reach (also known as Chelan Complex) and Black Canyon (includes McFarland Creek): The Chelan Butte area and portion of the fire on the east side of the Columbia River are completely contained. The Reach Fire continues to spread north and northwest. The focus of firefighting efforts today will be on completing the fire line along Cooper Ridge between the Reach and Black Canyon Fires. Yesterday crews burned out six miles of line along the ridge and today they will continue burning out the remaining areas needed to complete the line between the two fires. Firing operations will be supported by helicopter water drops as needed. Crews working along the western edge of the fire below that line will continue with structure protection and mop up.

First Creek:
The First Creek fire is active at the northeast and northwest flanks. Fire did cross a line at the northwest edge and firefighters worked through the night to contain the spread. Extreme fire weather combined with rollout of burning materials down the ridge at Granite Slide prevented firefighters from getting all the way around the fire, but they did get a dozer line in. The fire burned to the dozer line and continued to spot over throughout the night. The fire remains above the dozer contingency line paralleling South Lakeshore Road at Kelly’s Resort. Helicopters will be dropping water on the area today as weather as conditions allow.

Wolverine: The fire spread downslope into the Entiat River drainage and will continue to be monitored by air. At the north end, the fire has spread up the north side of the Castle Creek drainage, but has not crested the ridge. Firefighters will be working to hold the fire on the south side of the ridge above Castle Creek and will be supported by helicopter water drops. Level 3 evacuations remain for Holden Village, Lucerne, Domke Lake, Riddle, and Lightning Creek. The fire is still holding at the south end on the ridge between Pyramid Creek and Graham Harbor.

Weather and Fire Behavior: Red Flag Warning in effect until 11:00 pm Friday for dry and unstable conditions with increasing winds. Very critical fire weather conditions continue as a very warm, dry and unstable atmosphere persists over the fire area. Weather today will be sunny and windy, with temperatures ranging from the mid to upper 80s in valleys and mid to lower 70s on ridges. Relative humidity will be low, ranging from 15 to 18% in the valleys and 25% around ridges. Strong northwest winds will channel down Lake Chelan and strong south-southwest winds will channel up the Columbia River. Wind speeds will be 20-30 mph in the morning, increasing to 30-40 mph later in the day. Enhanced column development and extreme fire behavior are expected today. Light flashy fuels will still respond to wind promoting active fire behavior. Short and long distance (up to 1 mile) spotting are possible.

Evacuation/Aid Information: Level 3 evacuations in place for approximately 1,200 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.

Resources are being shared to assist with firefighting near Twisp, WA.

Road Closures and Evacuations:

Douglas County Emergency Management: 509-888-6841,

Chelan County Emergency Management: 509-667-6863,

Okanogan Emergency Management: 509-422-7207,

Road & Hwy Info: Twitter: @wsdot

Washington State Patrol: 509-682-8090

National Forest area closures:

Methow Ranger District: 509-996-4003

Chelan Ranger District: 509-682-4900

Evacuation Shelters: Red Cross: 509-663-3907

Power: Chelan County PUD: 877-783-8123,

Quick Facts

Incident Summary

Approximate Acreages:
Reach: 68,465, ac.

First Creek: 1,902 ac.

Black Canyon: 11,394 ac.

Wolverine: 40,904 ac.

Blankenship: 180 ac.

Total: 122,845 ac.

Fire Containment:
Reach: 49%

First Creek: 2%

Black Canyon: 2%

Wolverine: 30%

Blankenship: 0%

Incident Commander: Chris Schulte, Pacific Northwest National Incident Management Team 2

Resources on the Fires:
Crews: 27

Engines: 78

Water Tenders: 17

Bulldozers: 16

Helicopters: 5

Fixed Wing: 2


Personnel: 993

Approximate Structures Lost:
Chelan County: 67

Douglas County: 17

(residences, businesses, and outbuildings)

Jurisdiction: Chelan Co. Fire Districts #7 and #10

Chelan Co. Sheriff

Washington State DNR

USDA-Forest Service

National Park Service

Bureau of Land Mgmt.



Reach, Black Canyon, and First Creek:

Wolverine and Blankenship:

Twitter: @WolverineFire

Facebook: Reach Complex/Wolverine/Black Canyon Fires

Smoke Info:

Unit Information

Southeast Region-Department of Natural Resources
Ellensburg , WA 98926

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National Wildfire Coordinating Group U.S. Forest Service Bureau of Land Managemen Bureau of Indian Affairs Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service National Association of State Foresters U.S. Fire Administration
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