Crews battled the 40-square-mile Wolverine fire in Chelan County and the new Highway 8 fire in Klickitat County.
Firefighters in Chelan County reported some success Wednesday in battling the massive Wolverine fire, while crews in Klickitat County worked to contain a wildfire that forced the evacuation of an entire small town.
Helicopters dropped water on the 40-square-mile Wolverine fire near Lucerne, Chelan County, slowing the fire’s spread to only about 5 acres, compared with the thousands of acres it grew earlier this week, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. Crews also worked to establish containment lines on the north and south sides of the fires.
Firefighters were in Holden Village and Lucerne on Wednesday to try to protect structures by thinning brush and cutting tree limbs, said fire-information officer Wayne Patterson.
“We’re working to protect those communities as much as we possibly can,” he said.
Portions of Shady Pass and Big Hill roads were closed Wednesday because of heavy fire-equipment traffic. Evacuations are still in effect for Holden Village, Lucerne, Domke Lake, Riddle and Lightning Creek.
More crews will be arriving in the next few days to assist the 250 firefighters on the ground, Patterson said.
The Highway 8 fire that began Tuesday afternoon near Roosevelt, Klickitat County, grew from 10,000 acres to 17,000 acres by Wednesday evening, fire-information officer Ron Fryer said. A mandatory evacuation order for about 350 homes in the Roosevelt area was lifted Wednesday afternoon.
“The threat is gone,” Fryer said. “It’s moving east, away from the town.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday night it had authorized federal funds to help with firefighting costs, as the Highway 8 fire “threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster.”
Several outbuildings were burned, but no homes were destroyed. The state Department of Transportation reopened Highway 14 near Roosevelt on Wednesday afternoon.
Twelve other wildfires, ranging from 83 acres to 22,337 acres, were burning Wednesday around the state.