One lightning strike is believed to have started a fire just north of the 80,184-acre Colockum Tarps Fire—west of the Columbia River and East of Kingsbury Road—that is now estimated to be 1,500 to 2,000 acres.
A Type-II incident management team has been ordered to manage suppression efforts on both the Colockum Tarps Fire and the new blaze, called the Mile Marker 10 Fire. Information about both fires can be obtained by calling the Colockum Tarps Fire Information Center at 509-662-9984.
More than 18,000 lightning strikes were detected during the past 24 hours throughout Washington. Few of the thunderstorms were accompanied by precipitation. But, on Saturday firefighters were reporting rain or hail on many of the fires they were suppressing.
The National Weather Service was issuing flash flood watches for the east slopes of the Cascade Range, and Central and Southern Washington for Saturday morning until Sunday evening. Weather forecasts showed a 60 percent chance of heavy rain for Wenatchee for Saturday night.
In Central Washington, local, state and federal firefighters were having success keeping 29 fires detected on Saturday to less than an acre. Cloudy conditions with little wind were helping keep fires small as more fires were being reported to the Central Washington Interagency Communications Center.
Thunderstorms seemed to follow a path up the Cascade Range. Fires detected on Saturday on the four-million-acre Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest were mostly found on the Chelan, Entiat and Naches Ranger Districts. Fewer fires were reported on the national forest’s northern portion on the Methow Valley and Tonasket Ranger Districts.
Fires on private and state lands were reported mostly where lightning strikes occurred in Douglas, Grant, Lincoln, Ferry and Spokane Counties.