Washington Wildfires Continue

National Guard Troops on Washington's Chiwaukum Complex Fire

National Guard troops remove a stump on the Chiwaukum fire. Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Defense.

Wildfires in Washington state look to continue this week as temperatures rise and humidity decreases.

A cold weather system that moved through last week allowed firefighters to gain ground on several large fires, including the Carlton Complex, which is now 59% contained as crews continue to make good progress on line construction. There are currently 2,932 firefighters working to contain the blaze that has burned over 250,000 acres in the last two weeks.

Elsewhere on the Okanogan – Wenatchee National Forest, the Chiwaukum Complex remains at 25% containment today. The lightning-initiated fire began on July 15th near the community of Leavenworth and has burned 12,320 acres so far, with fire behavior expected to increase over the next 72 hours as temperatures reach triple digits in the valleys by mid-week. The Chiwaukum Complex has nearly 1,000 wildfire personnel committed to it from various agencies including local Chelan County fire departments, Washington DNR, the Forest Service, BLM, and the National Guard. Up-to-date information on the Chiwaukum Complex can be found via InciWeb.

Finally, the devastating Mills Canyon fire that forced evacuations in the Entiat area earlier this month is now at 95% containment after burning over 22,000 acres, with full containment expected later this week.

On Friday, Governor Jay Inslee extended a burn ban for Eastern Washington. “While fire crews have made significant progress over the past week in bringing the fires under control, weather conditions are still a concern and we need to continue erring on the side of safety,” Inslee said.

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