Despite fears of higher winds and rising temperatures, fire managers said they had made progress Saturday afternoon to contain a blaze that destroyed three cabins and severely damaged a home near Lake Wenatchee.
Forest Service spokesman Roland Giller said the fire was caused by humans, but the specific origin is still under investigation.
By late Saturday afternoon, the fire that started Friday evening had burned just over 5 acres.
Some of the area still had material that fed the fire. “It makes it a little more work to mop up those areas,” Giller said.
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The fire on the north shore of Lake Wenatchee in Chelan County started about 6:30 p.m. Friday and led to the evacuation of 40 homes.
Chelan County Undersheriff John Wisemore said only about six homes were occupied and a roadblock was set up to keep people out.
At about midnight Friday, homeowners were allowed back in as the evacuation order was downgraded to an advisory, Wisemore said, “to give people a heads-up there is fire activity in the area.”
The blaze was “creeping” by Saturday morning with two helicopters and close to 100 personnel fighting it back, said Terri Woods, administrative manager and firefighter for Chelan County Fire District No. 9.
Lauren Pflugrath said his family’s home escaped major damage but that surveillance cameras attached to his garage showed his next-door neighbor’s cabin burning.
“Our builder has been up there, and he thinks (the cabin) is OK,” Pflugrath said.
He said the home has some smoke damage.
Brooks Egerton, visiting from Dallas, was staying at a friend’s cabin.
Egerton’s partner and son had been swimming when they returned for dinner and noticed a charcoallike smell. Egerton looked out the window and saw smoke drifting through the trees.
A short time later, “I saw flames sweeping up the hill and trees,” he said. “I yelled and said, ‘There’s a fire, evacuate!’ ”
They all grabbed as much as they could and jumped in the car, making their way to Arlington for the night.
The cabin burned to the ground.
“We’re feeling pretty lucky today,” Egerton said.
Anna Boiko-Weyrauch: 206-464-3145 or email@example.com