Wildfire spreads north of Wenatchee

Dan Wheat

Capital Press

A wildfire started from a house fire shortly after noon July 8 about 20 miles north of Wenatchee, Wash., and rapidly spread to 5,000 acres.

ENTIAT, Wash. — Air tankers, helicopters and ground crews are battling a 5,000-acre wildfire in the Cascade foothills west of Entiat that threatens to expand as the wind picks up.

The fire originated from a house fire at 12:30 p.m. July 8 in Mills Canyon about four miles west of Entiat and 20 miles north of Wenatchee, said Mick Mueller, spokesman for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest of the U.S. Forest Service in Wenatchee.

‘The fire had a good run yesterday. It doubled in size every couple of hours. Today the concern is a red flag warning for this afternoon with wind gusts to 30 mph, low humidity and warm temperatures. It could lead to extreme fire behavior,” Mueller said July 9.

The fire is headed east and south, burning in grass, brush and timber on steep slopes.

Three air tankers, four helicopters, four bulldozers, 15 engines and 250 personnel are working the fire, Mueller said.

A dozen or so homes in Mills and Dinkelman canyons are under evacuation notice and others are on standby to go, he said.

An incident command center was being set up at Entiat High School and a state interagency management team was taking over, he said.

The only damage or loss of structure so far is the house of origin. The cause is under investigation, he said.

Mills and Dinkelman canyons last burned in the Dinkelman Fire of 1988, he said.



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