WENATCHEE, Wash. — The Red Apple Fire north of Wenatchee grew to 11,000 acres Thursday but firefighters made good progress toward containment.
“I would say the outlook is positive because we had a quiet night and a Type One (national management team) arrived which brings access to a significantly higher level of resources,” Ryan Rodruck, fire spokesman, said Friday morning.
Aggressive air and ground attacks Thursday held the fire on ridges above Warner Canyon and Cashmere to the west and preventing the spread westward to Nahahum Canyon, Rodruck said.
Similar attacks held the fire in timber atop the 4,726-foot Burch Mountain to the north of Sunnyslope, preventing encroachment down into Swakane Canyon, he said.
The goal is to complete firelines on the western and northern flanks and when that happens perimeter containment is likely to increase substantially above the current 10%, he said.
No primary structures have been lost but a few outbuildings were burned and one Bureau of Land Management firefighter sustained a minor injury, Rodruck said.
Firefighters saved many homes in Sunnyslope where fire burned around them.
At the peak of the fire evacuation orders had been issued for 1,500 homes. The fire burned down ravines from Burch Mountain to U.S. Highway 97A along the Columbia River north of Wenatchee, causing closure of the highway Wednesday. It was reopened Thursday.
The fire was reported at 6:55 p.m. July 13 from the 3300 block of Red Apple Road.
A debris pile there was ignited, which was an illegal burn, but the homeowner denies starting it. It’s “next to impossible” to prove who did, said Adam Musgrove, the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office patrol chief.
“We will have a hard time charging anyone with that but we are working on it,” he said.