Wildfire smoke blanketing both sides of state

Print
Email
|

by KING 5 News and Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Updated Thursday, Sep 13 at 5:10 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash.  -- Washington state officials say smoke from dozens of lightning-sparked wildfires is not only blanketing much of central and eastern Washington, it's drifting into parts of western Washington, where alarmed residents are calling 911.

State Department of Natural Resources spokesman Bryan Flint said Wednesday that 911 centers in five southwest Washington counties have reported being inundated with false fire reports prompted by smoke from fires east of the Cascade Mountains.

Flint says easterly winds are moving the smoke through the Columbia Gorge and across gaps in the Cascades. He says that pattern is likely to continue over the next day or so.

Bottom line advice: report any columns of smoke, but not just general haze.

Here’s a look at some of the larger wildfires in the state. You can get updates anytime at the InciWeb site.

Wenatchee Complex

Firefighters say a new fire was reported Wednesday evening burning between Burch Mountain and Eagle Rock, approximately five miles north of Wenatchee in grass and timber.
The Wenatchee Complex includes over 50 lightning-caused fires burning in Chelan and Okanogan Counties. It has grown to 25,000 acres and the growth potential is considered high.

More than 900 personnel are fighting the fire, which is eight percent contained as of Thursday morning.

Homes in the region are on varying levels of evacuation.

Conditions are rapidly changing. For more information please contact the Joint Fire Information Center at 509-664-9353 or 509-664-9374.

Okanogan Complex

The lightning-sparked Okanogan Complex is made up of three fires in the Methow Valley near Carlton. 2,500 acres have burned and it’s only two percent contained. More than 200 firefighters are working to put it out.

Apache Pass Fire

Firefighters are busy building containment lines around homes and buildings near the fire southwest of Creston. The 24,500 acre wildfire is 40 percent contained. Investigators still don’t know what caused it.

Cascade Creek Fire

Nearly 500 firefighters are fighting this 2,150 acre on the south slope of Mount Adams in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. It is zero percent contained.

The growth of the fire could force the closure of the Pacific Crest Trail in the coming days. Hikers should plan ahead and call the Mt. Adams Ranger District at (509) 395-3400. Hikers were evacuated on Sunday, leaving behind 17 vehicles.

Print
Email
|