Wildfire threat near Leavenworth; 12+ fires burn across WA state
Two fires, the White River Fire and the Irving Peak Fire, broke out in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest after lighting ignited dry brush in the area over the weekend. Smoke in the area is still visible near Lake Wenatchee and residents and tourists have been warned to stay clear of Little Wenatchee and White River Roads.
Currently, the White River Fire is burning 600 acres, and the Irving Peak Fire 160 acres. Both are 0% contained as of Tuesday evening.
Chelan County has issued a Level 3 evacuation (Go Now) for Sears Creek Road, while White River Road is at Level 2 (Be Prepared), and Little Wenatchee Road is at Level 1 (Stay Alert).
So far, five houses have been evacuated in the Sears Creek area, and officials are considering closing more roads nearby.
Currently, three hotshot crews, two fire engines, and a bulldozer are responding, with more resources on order.
KIRO Newsradio News Director Charlie Harger was in Leavenworth reporting on the situation over the weekend. Leavenworth is not actively threatened by any wildfire at the time of reporting.
Last shot from Lake Wenatchee State Park. pic.twitter.com/qKM8npS9kz
— Charlie Harger (@KIROCharlie) August 15, 2022
In Whitman County, the Miller Road Fire, which started Aug. 12, at approximately 1:00 p.m., has been increasing in size.
Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste has authorized the mobilization of state firefighters.
The fire is an estimated 200 acres and threatens several residences, crops, and infrastructure in the area.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The much smaller Phelps Ridge Fire and Buck Creek Fire, both located in the Glacier Peak Wilderness, are unstaffed but being monitored as they are only 1-2 acres and a fifth of an acre, respectively.
There are six fires in the Cle Elum Ranger District and all are located within 2 miles of Thorp Mountain, approximately 11-13 miles northwest of Cle Elum, WA.
A closure is pending for the Thorp Mountain area, and officials are asking the public to stay clear of that area as helicopters and other fire suppression resources are working there. All the fires are less than an acre in size, with the exception of the Thorp Mountain Fire, which is 4 acres.
Helicopters continue to drop water on this fire to aid in fire suppression. The quarter-acre Malcolm Fire, located 13 miles north of Cle Elum, was contained and controlled this morning.
As another heat wave kicks off mid-week, officials say the public should remain vigilant and follow burn bans in their areas, as the dry grass and brush increase the risk of sparking more serious fires.