Growing Leavenworth fire one of many across Washington
A fire that’s burned more than 1,500 acres near Leavenworth is just one of several wildfires burning in Washington state at a time when firefighting resources are down and temperatures are up.
Seattle Times staff reporter
A fire that’s burned more than 1,500 acres near Leavenworth, Chelan County, is just one of several wildfires burning in Washington state at a time when firefighting resources are down and temperatures are up.
The Eagle fire has prompted the mandatory evacuation of at least 30 homes as the blaze continues to grow five miles northeast of Leavenworth in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
Half the residents under the evacuation order have left the Eagle Creek Road neighborhood, while the others there were holding their ground, said fire incident information officer Robin DeMario on Wednesday.
The fire was zero percent contained as of Wednesday night, and more than 300 firefighters are battling the blaze, DeMario said. An additional 35 homes are threatened by the fire, and residents have been told to prepare to evacuate.
As the fire spreads, smoke is drifting toward nearby Wenatchee and Cashmere.
King County firefighters have been dispatched to Leavenworth to help fill firefighting needs there.
Afternoon temperatures aren’t expected to cool down to the mid-80s until Friday and are expected to stay in the mid- to upper 80s through next week.
High temperatures, dry air and scattered thunderstorms have given birth to numerous large fires in Western states this month, spreading firefighting resources thin.
The Conrad Lake fire near Yakima has burned nearly 1,000 acres since a lightning strike on Aug. 9. It was 22 percent contained Wednesday evening. Cooler temperatures there made it a lower-priority fire to manage, said incident commander Bob Allbee.
Conrad Lake crews will combine with about 50 firefighters working to control another fire in Manastash Ridge near Shoestring Lake, which was estimated Wednesday evening at around 450 acres.
That fire is “fairly isolated,” four miles from the nearest road and any buildings, said Jim Duck, an operations manager at the Central Washington Interagency Communications Center in East Wenatchee.
The Government Flats Complex fire along the Columbia River near The Dalles, Ore., had raged on more than 8,000 acres and burned four homes and nine outbuildings by Wednesday. A spokesman at the scene said the fire had been estimated as roughly 15 percent contained Wednesday night.
The Colockum Tarps fire along the Columbia River southeast of Wenatchee burned more than 80,000 acres before it was brought under control.
Idaho is still battling the Beaver Creek fire, which has burned more than 106,000 acres, and Oregon’s 15,600-acre Whiskey fire is 75 percent contained.
The National Weather Service had issued red-flag warnings for parts of Washington, Southern Oregon, much of Northern California and Southern Idaho as of Wednesday. A red-flag warning means conditions are ideal for wildfires to start and spread.
Even the wet Washington coast hasn’t been spared.
In Ocean Shores, Grays Harbor County, a fire burning logs and grass in sand dunes that surround the community threatened homes for a time but is now contained. The Ocean Shores Fire Department said it burned at least 20 acres.
Seattle Times staff reporter Colin Campbell contributed to this report.
Alexa Vaughn: 206-464-2515 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @AlexaVaughn.