Tracking updates on major wildfires in Washington throughout the summer.

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It’s wildfire season. Throughout the summer, this post will be updated with the latest news about wildfires across the state.

Nationwide, wildfires are growing larger and becoming more volatile. Why experts say that’s happening and what they predict this season.

Aug. 19

Three firefighters were killed fighting a wildfire near Twisp and as many as four others were injured. About 3,000 people in Twisp and Winthrop were ordered to evacuate. Fire officials didn’t immediately know how many homes or acres the new fire had consumed by early evening.

Aug. 17

Twenty-three blazes were burning statewide. Soldiers from JBLM were assigned to help fight fire. The Chelan Complex burned at least 32 homes, with more to be counted. Thousands of people have been evacuated. Some power customers in the Chelan area were still without.

Aug. 16

Wildfires near Chelan scorched more than 100,000 acres and destroyed as many as 75 homes and businesses. The Reach complex, later to be renamed the Chelan Complex, grew to about 85 square miles. More than 2,7000 people had to evacuate, some staying in shelters overnight.

The fire damaged several fruit businesses, burning hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of supplies and apples, too.

Many tourists stayed away from the area being scorched by fire.

Aug. 15

More than 1,600 people were evacuated from the Chelan area and many structures burned. Fire ate through power lines and poles. With so many fires burning in Central and Eastern Washington, competition for resources became tight.

Aug. 14

Several fires combined to form a massive fire that would later become known as the Chelan Complex.

Thousands of people were forced to evacuate their homes.

The Cougar Creek fire in the Yakima area grew to 21,000 acres.

The Wolverine fire grew to about 59 square miles  (37,792 acres).

In Ferry County, the Stickpin fire burned about 20,000 acres and moved rapidly from treetop to treetop.

The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (NWCC), which manages firefighting regionally, said firefighting resources in the area were completely used and fighting new fires would require pulling resources elsewhere.

Aug. 13

The Wolverine fire grew to 57 square miles and lightning sparked new fires in the Methow valley near the Pacific Crest Trail, forcing closures.

Aug. 12

The Wolverine fire burned around Holden Village.

Tanker planes doused the Rutter Canyon fire near Spokane and evacuations in that area were lifted.

Aug. 11

The Wolverine fire continued its steady growth up to about 54 square miles. The fire destroyed one home and three outbuildings.

Aug. 8

The Wolverine fire grew to 45 square miles, but firefighters managed to keep it from Holden Village and Stehekin. They used controlled burns to stall its progress.

Aug. 6

The Wolverine fire continued to grow, marching steadily toward Holden Village. The blaze is about 4.5 miles east of Holden Village and 2 miles southwest of Stehekin, Chelan County.

Aug. 5

Firefighters slowed the spread of the Wolverine fire to just five acres.

The Highway 8 fire passed by Roosevelt, Wash. About 350 homes were threatened and the entire town was evacuated. No homes were damaged. The fire grew to 17,000 acres by Wednesday evening, but was no longer a threat to the town.

Active Washington fires:

Baldy Fire – 507 acres
North Boulder 2 – 233 acres
Wolverine Fire – 25,640 acres
Paradise Fire – 2,392 acres
Newby Lake Fire – 5,065 acres
Blue Creek Fire – 6,004 acres
Mt Adams Complex – 405 acres
Blankenship Fire – 83 acres
Pc Complex – 129 acres
Douglas County Complex – 22,337 acres
Thunder Creek Fire – 103 acres
231 Fire – 1,138 acres
Williams Fire – 332 acres
Twenty-One Mile Grade – 2,250 acres

Aug. 4 

The Wolverine fire grew to more than 25,000 acres. More than 250 firefighters were working to stop its advance. The blaze destroyed a home and several outbuildings.

Aug. 3

The Wolverine fire has grown to 25 square miles. Officials are developing evacuation plans for the south shore of Lake Chelan and the Stehekin areas as air quality on the lake reaches hazardous levels. The fire’s timing couldn’t have been much worse for Stehekin and Lake Chelan, which are at the height of their tourist seasonThe fire began June 29.

A large wildfire in rural Mason County destroyed eight homes Friday evening. Another fire burned 700 acres near Long Lake, Spokane County.

A low-pressure system is forecast to move across the Pacific Northwest, bringing an increase in winds and low humidity, according to the National Weather Service. The winds will continue through Tuesday evening.

Aug. 1 

The Wolverine fire near Lake Chelan, which began June 29, quadrupled in size and forced hundreds of evacuations. Smoke could be seen in the Seattle area. About 350 people in Holden Village were evacuated the evening of July 31. People living in Lucerne, Riddle and Lightning Creek areas were also ordered to evacuate.

July 31

Friday marked the 11th day this year where the temperature in Seattle reached 90 degrees or higher, according to the National Weather Service.

Washington State Department of Natural Resources experts say the most dangerous wildfire weather of the year has arrived, increasing the probability of large fires through the middle of next week. Dry fuel, record-breaking temperatures, high winds and lightning from the south present “explosive potential for wildfire throughout the state,” Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark said in a news release.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for much of Western Washington, effective through Saturday night. A red flag warning means conditions could contribute to active fire behavior.

The Blue Creek fire that started July 20 and burned more than 9 square miles about 10 miles east of Walla Walla is 95 percent contained.

Active Washington fires:

  • Douglas County Complex – 22,337 acres
  • Blue Creek fire- 6,004 acres
  • Newby Lake fire – 5,065 acres
  • Twenty-One Mile Grade – 2,250 acres
  • Wolverine Creek fire – 1,526 acres
  • Paradise fire – 1,786 acres
  • 213 Fire – 1,138 acres
  • Mt Adams Complex – 405 acres
  • Williams fire – 332 acres
  • North Boulder 2 – 210 acres
  • Pc Complex – 129 acres
  • Thunder Creek fire – 103 acres
  • Blankenship fire – 83 acres

July 24

The Blue Creek Fire is estimated at more than 6,000 acres. It is 10 percent contained. About 1,000 people were fighting the fire.

Active Washington fires:

  • Blue Creek fire – 6,140 acres
  • Pc Complex – 129 acres
  • Newby Lake fire – 5,065 acres
  • Wolverine Creek fire – 340 acres
  • Blankenship fire – 70 acres
  • Deep Lake – 77 acres
  • Kettle North Complex – 100 acres
  • Paradise fire – 1,781 acres
  • Mt Adams Complex – 405 acres
  • Douglas County Complex – 22,337 acres
  • Thunder Creek fire – 103 acres
  • 231 Fire – 1,138 acres
  • Williams Fire – 332 acres
  • Twenty-One Mile Grade – 2,250 acres
  • Hungry Hill – 85 acres

July 23

Near Walla Walla, the Blue Creek fire scorched a home and threatened dozens more. Firefighters worked to protect the nearby Mill Creek Watershed that provides drinking water for the city of Walla Walla. The wildfire was human caused.

July 22

A news conference about brush fires was interrupted by a brush fire. Seattle fire officials said 225 brush fires have been reported in Seattle from June 1 through July 21, a 178 percent increase from the same time last year.

July 20 

A brush fire burning near George, Grant County, closed I-90. The 700-acre fire took more than 200 firefighters to control.

An information officer for the Grant County Sheriff’s Department said the old-growth sagebrush in the area was so dry and winds so fierce that “it looks like it vaporizes into a wave … everything just takes off.”

July 17 

A brush fire in Puyallup destroyed a storage facility and threatened a nearby apartment. Pierce County officials later said the fire — which destroyed 121 storage units — was caused by “one irresponsible citizen tossing a hand rolled cigarette” into grass.

July 14

On Monday, evacuation orders were lifted for residences near the wildfires in Douglas County. The 22,200 acre fire is about 80 percent contained and firefighters are being released from working on it.

July 13

A lightning storm Friday, July 10 is thought to have triggered wildfires in Douglas County that burned 22,000 acres of grass and sage. Five lightning strikes have formed two large fires now named the Douglas County Complex fires.

About 300 residences near Waterville were evacuated. All but about 30 residents have been allowed to return to their homes.

Lightning last week sparked the Riley Fire in the Mt. Adams area. The fire is being managed with the Horseshoe Fire as the Mt. Adams Complex.

July 10

With lower temperatures, it’s been a relatively mild week for fire with few substantial updates.

The Pacific Crest Trail has been rerouted around the Horseshoe Fire in the Mount Adams Wilderness. Lightning on the evening of July 9 started two additional fires in the area.

The Newby Lake Fire grew to more than 3,000 acres. Hot shot crews and 11 helicopters have responded to the fire, which is in challenging terrain about 10 miles northwest of Loomis, Wash., near the Canadian border.

The Little Spokane Fire near Highway 291 is being treated as part of the 231 Fire. At 970 acres, the 231 Fire is about 70 percent contained. It burned about 11 structures. The Little Spokane Fire is more than 170 acres and 20 percent contained. An earlier evacuation notice that called for 17 homes to be ready to leave, has been lifted.

The Wolverine Creek fire is now 314 acres, but hasn’t grown in several days. “It’s very rugged terrain,” said Connie Mehmel, a fire information officer for the fire. Mehmel said a group of firefighters rappelled in by helicopter, but had to be extracted after logs rolled downhill and started fire beneath them.

“We can’t bring people in there again because of the steepness of the terrain and the rockiness,” said Mehmel.

Hiking trails into Holden Village, a spiritual retreat about 7 miles away, have been closed. There are about 300 people at the retreat, said Connie Mehmel, a fire information officer.

About 300 workers and staffers are staying at Holden Village, Mehmel said. The workers are there for a nearby mine remediation project.

Mehmel said Holden Village is under an evacuation notice because there’s a single road in and out of the village. Unless the fire nears that road, the village won’t need to be evacuated.

Alaska is on pace for a record fire season. Smoke from Canadian wildfires blanketed Washington with haze.

July 6

About a dozen fires are burning across the state. Statewide, it’s incredibly dry. Even the Queets rain forest in Olympic National Park, which typically receives more than 200 inches of rain annually,  is burning.

Four crews were on the ground near Stehekin Sunday fighting the nearly 400-acre Wolverine Creek Fire in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

In Southeastern Washington’s Asotin County, State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state resources Sunday to help local firefighters battle the new Gilmore Gulch Fire, which has grown to at least 2,500 acres.

In Moses Lake on Sunday, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office and fire officials battled a brush fire that caused dozens of evacuations at a trailer park.

On the far west side of the state, fire crews are battling the more than 1,200-acre Paradise fire in the Olympic National Forest.

List of active Washington wildfires:

  • Twenty One Mile Grade, near Keller, Wash. – 2,200 acres
  • Williams fire,  north of Colville, Wash. – 332 acres
  • Horseshoe fire, within the Mt. Adams Ranger District – 250 acres
  • Newby Lake fire, in the Pasayten Wilderness and Canada – 1,450 acres
  • 231 fire, seven miles south of Springdale, Wash. – 880 acres
  • Wolverine Creek fire, just west of Lake Chelan – 175 acres
  • Paradise fire, Olympic National Park near the Queets River  – 1,240 acres
  • Sleepy Hollow fire,  Wenatchee, Wash. – 2,950 acres (98 percent contained)
  • Saddle Lakes fire,  south of Royal City, Wash. – 14,357
  • Thunder Creek fire, south of Ross Lake in North Cascades National Park – 103 acres
  • Hungry Hill, east of Orient, Wash. – 85 acres

 

July 2

Hot and dry conditions are resulting in more active fire behavior and additional smoke at the Paradise Fire on the Olympic Peninsula, according to a news release from fire information staff.

With several fires burning, it’s difficult to tell exactly which blaze the smoke is coming from, officials said. The fire is 21 percent contained.

Officials in Forks are cancelling the town’s holiday fireworks display because of the unusually dry weather conditions.

The Peninsula Daily News reports the public fireworks display will be rescheduled.

A youth organization that sells fireworks as a fundraiser decided to close their shop after the city decided to cancel its display.

July 1

Update at 3:30 p.m.: The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office believes the Sleepy Hollow Fire was human-caused.

Update at 8:30 a.m.: The Paradise Fire in Olympic National Park remains about 20 percent contained. The fire has climbed to about 3,000 feet on Pelton Peak, which tops out at 5,301 feet. The fire started at about 700 feet elevation.

Original post at 6:20 a.m.: The Road 6 fire in Douglas County near Mansfield has burned 3,500 acres, but is now 50 percent contained, according to a tweet from the state emergency management department.

Residents were evacuated from two dozen homes on Tuesday night as the Monument Hill wildfire in Quincy, Grant County, spread with alarming speed, according to county officials. The 2,100-acre blaze was estimated to be 20 to 30 percent contained. No injuries were reported and no homes were lost.

The danger of the Sleepy Hollow fire in Wenatchee has lessened considerably, fire officials said Tuesday evening. They’re worried about Fourth of July fireworks, though.

June 30

Overnight, a sagebrush fire erupted on 2,500 acres in the Mansfield area of Chelan County, about 80 miles north of Wenatchee.

Chelan Fire District No. 1 spokeswoman Kay McKellar said the remote fire was caused by lightning.

Meanwhile, a fire first reported June 29 on Saddle Mountain has been mostly contained by firefighters.

Grant County District 10 and 11 Chief Brian Evans said crews were mopping up the 650-acre Lower Crab Creek Fire Tuesday morning.

Fifty firefighters fought the blaze Monday in hot, dry conditions. Temperatures reached 105 degrees, Evans said.

“At this time, the cause is undetermined, but they are investigating it as suspicious,” he said. “The Lower Crab Creek area is an area where we’ve had some suspicious fires in the past.”

June 29

Update at 8:00 p.m.: A large wildland fire broke out Monday afternoon between George and Vantage, near the intersection of Interstate 90 and Silica Road, according to Grant County Fire District 13. There is no other information on the fire’s size available at the time.

Update at 12:00 p.m.: The Les Blair complex fire in Benton County is about 85 percent contained, said Ron Fryer, a public information officer for Southeast Washington Incident Management. Two fires started on June 27 in a remote part of the county near the Columbia River. Combined, the fires burned about 2,850 acres.

Fryer said he expected firefighters to finish up containing the fire this afternoon. If all goes as planned, the firefighters will head to Wenatchee to help with the Sleepy Hollow Fire.

“We’re going to try to get them (firefighters) done quickly … because they’re screaming for them up there,” Fryer said.

Meanwhile, the Sleepy Hollow Fire caused an ammonia leak Monday morning. Emergency officials warned residents to stay inside and not run air conditioning. The ammonia dissipated a few hours later, the agency said on Facebook.

Update at 10:00 a.m.: Twenty-eight homes have been destroyed and 3,000 acres have burned in the fast-moving Sleepy Hollow fire sweeping through the Wenatchee area.

During a news conference Monday morning, Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz, Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett, as well as the Washington State Patrol and regional fire leaders called the fire intense and hard to control.

Original post at 7 a.m.More than 1,000 people have fled their homes in the Wenatchee area. The Sleepy Hollow Fire grew to about 3,000 acres, according to a tweet from the Washington Department of Natural Resources.

East Wenatchee’s Eastmont High School was opened June 28 as a regional evacuation center for those affected by the Sleepy Hollow Fire. More than 150 people checked into a Red Cross Shelter there, according to Chelan County Emergency Management’s Facebook page. The shelter was closed later that day.

Cardboard, recyclables, propane and chemicals at a fruit-packaging company warehouse sent flames shooting in the air at around midnight, reports the Wenatchee World.

A nearby fruit warehouse also caught fire, the paper reported.

June 28

Hundreds of people were ordered to leave their homes in the Wenatchee area. The Sleepy Hollow Fire burned at least 1,800 acres.

The Paradise fire grew to 1,025 acres and is 20 percent contained.

June 26

The Paradise fire grew slowly to 954 acres because of higher humidity and cooler temperatures. There are 102 people helping with fire response, and the fire is 5 percent contained.

Campfires were restricted on Okanogan County national forest lands.

June 24

Cooler temperatures slowed the Paradise Fire’s spread, but it still grew to about 950 acres.

Campfires were restricted in the Olympic National forest.

June 22

The Paradise fire on the Olympic Peninsula grew to about 800 acres. Flames spread through treetops and the fire became more intense and difficult to contain.

A statewide burn ban went into effect on Department of Natural Resources lands. The state Fish and Wildlife agency announced fire restrictions, too.

June 16

A wildfire deep in the Olympic National Park wilderness began to burn. The Queets River Trail was closed until further notice. The fire was later be named the Paradise Fire.

May 15

Governor  Jay Inslee declared a statewide drought emergency.