This post is from 2012. If you are looking for more current info please click on one of the following links:
For those not currently in the Wenatchee Valley we thought we should catch you up on the Wenatchee and Leavenworth forest fire news.
Lightning storms on Saturday September 8 set off fires throughout Eastern Washington. Homes near Wenatchee and Cashmere have intermittently been threatened and neighborhoods evacuated. In Leavenworth, the fires have been smaller wilderness fires far from town.
The big news compared to previous fires, is a toxic inversion that has kept the air quality at hazardous levels for almost two weeks. Cashmere schools have been closed and residents, especially those in Wenatchee and Cashmere have been advised to wear face masks if going outdoors.
We are hoping for a break soon, but if you visit the area you might prepare by bringing an N95 face mask and also be prepared for closures on State Route 97 over Blewett Pass which is close to much of the fire activity.
Typical "View" of Wenatchee Foothils in September 2012
Update as of 9/21/12
Firefighters made good progress securing fire lines and limiting the spread of fires at the north, south and east ends of the complex that previously threatened homes in the Wenatchee, Cashmere, Entiat and Chelan areas. These fires include First Creek, Byrd Canyon, Canyon, Poison and Peavine fires. Today the smoky inversion lasted most of the day limiting aerial operations. The inversion also put a cap on fire activity, giving ground crews an opportunity to complete and secure additional fire lines. Eight smoke jumpers attacked a new fire start in the Entiat Valley and checked the spread at 2 acres. The area along the Westside of Squilchuck between Halverson Road and Hampton Road was changed to a level 2, all other evacuation levels remain the same.
A new spike camp was established at Lake Wenatchee State Park today, hosting 90 fire fighters. Crews will work out of this camp on the Sears, Basalt and Maverick Fires. By establishing this camp the crews will have more time on the line and a longer rest period at night.
- Canyon Fire — 7,587 Acres — 90% Contained Wenatchee
- Byrd Fire --- 13,909 Acres, plus 70 Acres--- 90% Contained Entiat
- Poison Fire --- 5,991 Acres, plus 8 Acres --- 30% Contained South of Cashmere
- Peavine Fire--- 7,870 Acres, less 330 Acres --- 20% Contained South of Mission Ridge
- First Creek Fire --- 1,236 Acres --- 30% Contained
- Pyramid Fire--- 544 Acres, plus 113 Acres --- 0% Contained
- Klone Fire --- 1,071 Acres, plus 58 Acres --- 0% Contained
- Cashmere Fire --- 754 Acres, plus 96 Acres ---0% Contained Mt. Cashmere, the Enchantments
- Basalt Fire --- 137 Acres, plus 1 Acres --- 0% Contained White River / Lake Wenatchee
- Sears Creek Fire --- 184 Acres, plus 44 Acres --- 0% Contained White River / Lake Wenatchee
- Maverick Fire --- 30 Acres, less 10 Acres --- 0% Contained White River / Lake Wenatchee
- Other Fires within the complex --- 2,540 Acres, plus 1,813 Acres --- 20% Contained
The Incident Management Team would like to express appreciation to the community for your support and help in our efforts to suppress these fires. It is vital that the community cooperate with evacuations, road closures, and avoiding areas of high traffic for fire suppression.
Updated information about the Wenatchee and Leavenworth forest fires from the USFS / interagency firefighting team http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3258/
Information about smoke and air quality can be found here http://wasmoke.blogspot.com/