Hundreds can return to homes in Lake Chelan, but fire danger remains

Aug 26, 2021, 11:58 AM
wildfire, lake chelan, fire...
Wildfire smoke near Lake Chelan. (Photo courtesy of Barb Simeona)
(Photo courtesy of Barb Simeona)

Hundreds of people are now allowed to return to their homes and cabins along the scorched south shore of Lake Chelan, after more than 500 residences had been evacuated for more than a week due to the Twentyfive Mile Fire.

Now, just 35 homes are considered in serious jeopardy. View an evacuation map of the area here.

Washington lawmakers issue plea to administration as wildfires burn across the state

The U.S. Forest Service’s Ian Rickert says this week’s weather conditions have helped tamp down a number of wildfires in the North Cascades.

“[The North Cascades] have generally speaking moderate conditions over the last week, and that bodes well for firefighting efforts there,” he said.

But there’s no doubt now that this year’s Northwest fire season will be one of the worst on record.

Rickert says nearly 3,000 fires in the Northwest to date this year have burned more than 1,400 square miles. The Northwest fire season is not yet over, but has already exceeded the 10-year average for acres burned.

“If things continue on the current trajectory, it’s also likely that we will exceed the 10-year average in terms of number of wildfires,” Rickert added.

Washington shatters records in midst of ‘early, alarming’ start to wildfire season

The forecast calls for more hot, dry weather into September, which is likely to mean increasing fire danger. To make it worse, it’s been nearly two and a half months with no substantial rain.

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Hundreds can return to homes in Lake Chelan, but fire danger remains