Okanogan/Wenatchee National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
215 Melody Lane
Wenatchee, WA 98801
Yesterday: Strong overnight winds pushed the Norse Creek Fire down to State Route 410 Wednesday morning and it continued to burn actively through the day. Current estimates are that the fire is approximately 1,000 acres. The movement and increase in size prompted several actions including evacuations and closures.
Evacuations: The Yakima Valley Office of Emergency Management (509-574-1900) issued a Level 3 evacuation notice for the Union Creek Summer Home Tract (6 cabins), effective 10 a.m. Wednesday. Later that afternoon they extended the Level 3 for the Pleasant Valley Summer Home Tract (7 cabins). A Level 3 “Go” notice “indicates current conditions present immediate threat(s) to the life and safety of persons within this area. It is recommended that you evacuate your home and head to a safe area.”
Closures: National forest officials instituted a closure that encompasses a large area around the fire. It prohibits entering National Forest System lands or being on any trail within the closed area with an objective of providing a greater margin of public safety. Details of the closure and a map are available at the Naches Ranger District or on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest website (https://www.fs.usda.gov/okawen/).
Effective three p.m. on Wednesday, the Washington Department of Transportation (DOT) closed State Route 410 from Chinook Pass (mile post 69) to Hell’s Crossing (mile post 84). Heavy smoke, fire suppression activity and the threat of fire-weakened trees falling on the roadway prompted the decision. Warming temperatures and expected winds are likely to support active fire behavior into the weekend. DOT officials anticipate the closure to extend over several days. Advisories and updates will posted on the DOT website.
Today: The emphasis for today is to fell hazard trees and establish containment lines along the south perimeter. Additional firefighters are arriving on scene and a Type 2 incident management team will arrive today to assist local fire managers in addressing the growing size and complexity of this incident.
Contacts: Information regarding these fires may be obtained during regular business hours at (509) 653-1468 and anytime on Inciweb (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5509/).