WENATCHEE, Wash. — Wind is a big concern of firefighters battling a wildfire estimated at 400 acres in the Cascade foothills about eight miles west of Wenatchee.
Strong winds with gusts up to 30 mph were forecast for the area late Friday, which is a “big concern,” said Eric Waters, a fire spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources.
“There’s plenty of fuel, warm temperatures and low relative humidity so none of that’s in our favor,” Waters said, “and with a red-flag wind forecast we don’t know what mother nature will serve up.”
The fire, dubbed Little Camas Fire, was reported about noon on July 5, when it was much smaller in logging slash on Weyerhaeuser Co. land in the Camas Creek area off Blewett Pass Highway.
The fire was first attacked with four helicopters and two airplanes because steep, rugged terrain made ground efforts difficult. More aircraft joined the fight Friday and 270 firefighters and four bulldozers were working to establish firelines on all sides, Waters said.
Another 175 personnel and more equipment from DNR, local fire districts and private contractors were being ordered in for Saturday, he said.
Camas Meadows Bible Camp and three homes within two miles of the fire were on evacuation standby, he said.
The cause is not known and is under investigation, he said.
An incident command center was established at the Chelan County Fairgrounds in Cashmere.
Waters said motorists should be careful around fire equipment on highways and that people need to remember that it’s illegal to operate drones near a wildfire.
Smoke from the fire was visible from Wenatchee on Thursday but clouds obscured it on Friday.