Wenatchee—Weekend lightning storms ignited over 25 fires in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Most of these fires were small, less than a tenth of an acre, and have fire lines around them. Other lightning-caused fires include:
· Little Bridge Creek Fire, last reported at 150 acres, is burning 10 miles northwest of Winthrop up the Twisp River Road. Washington Interagency Management Team 5 is assigned to the fire. The team is also managing the five acre McKinney Mountain Fire located near Virginia Ridge. Smokejumpers and a 20-person firefighting crew are working on this fire.
· Upper Falls Creek Fire is burning in the Chewuch drainage 20 miles northwest of Winthrop. It is burning in timber in very rugged, inaccessible terrain and is estimated to be over 100 acres. Firefighters are currently doing aerial reconnaissance.
· Little Burgett Fire, burning in the Chewuch drainage 16 miles northwest of Winthrop, is estimated at around three acres.
· Goat Peak, Cub Pass and West Fawn Fires, all burning on the Methow Valley Ranger district, are each less than one acre.
· Hansel Fire, burning in the Ingalls Creek area off of Hwy 97 approximately eight miles south of Leavenworth, is 68 acres. Level 1, 2 and 3 evacuation notifications are in place for areas adjacent to the fire. Ground and aerial firefighting resources from the Chiwaukum Complex are working on this fire located in steep, inaccessible terrain.
· The Shoofly Fire is burning in thick stands of timber in the Little Wenatchee River drainage just north of Heather Lake and approximately nine miles north of Stevens Pass Ski Area. This fire is estimated to be about 50 acres.
· The Minotaur Fire, also burning in the Little Wenatchee River drainage, is estimated at a tenth of an acre.
· Grindstone Fire, burning at the end of the Icicle drainage is estimated to be a quarter to a half acre. Crews arrived on the fire late Monday afternoon.
· Knox Creek Fire, burning about three miles northwest of Lake Cle Elum is five and a half acres. Crews have constructed a line around the fire and hope to have it fully contained by this evening.
Trail and area closures are in effect for public and firefighter safety. Please contact local ranger district offices or go to the forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/okawen for closure information.
A Red Flag Warning is in effect from 2 p.m. this afternoon to 10 p.m. this evening for strong winds and low relative humidity which may contribute to extreme fire behavior and critical fire weather conditions. Winds are forecast to increase this afternoon and evening while relative humidity values remain very low.
With the large number of fires burning throughout the West, there is high competition for firefighting resources. As hot and dry weather conditions continue, more lightning-caused “sleeper” or “holdover” fires will become visible. Firefighters will respond to new fires as crews become available.