Lightning Strikes Start Fires in Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest
While campfire bans are in place in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest to prevent fires there's nothing stopping nature from starting fires. In fact recent lightning storms delivered more than 2,700 lightning strikes in the state and firefighters have responded to 12 new wildfires in the forest.
Most of the fires are small and and under control but more could start
A press release says "most of the fires are small in size averaging 1/10 to 1/4 acre, and the largest is estimated at 45 acres. Additional fires may appear over the next few days."
Forest officials say so far three fires and two smoke reports happened on the Wenatchee River Ranger District.
The Irving Peak and Wenatchee Ridge fires are located within a few miles of each other in the Little Wenatchee River drainage; the White River fire is about two miles over the ridge from them in the White River drainage.
1. Irving Peak Fire is estimated at 45 acres and is located in very steep inaccessible terrain two miles north of Lake Creek Campground. Smoke is very visible. The fire is approximately 19 miles northwest of Plain, WA.
2. Wenatchee Ridge Fire is ¼ acre and located in the Soda Springs area in the Little Wenatchee River drainage and is staffed with three rappelers.
3. White River Fire is 6 acres and located in the Sears Creek area of the White River drainage, approximately 16 miles northwest of Plain, WA. Firefighting resources include two Interagency Hotshot crews, rappelers, and a dozer. Smoke is very visible.
4. There are reports of two smokes near Phelps Ridge and Buck Creek in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, personnel are still collecting information on these incidents.
Other fires were started in the Cle Elum Ranger District
Fire officials say five fires have happened on the Cle Elum Ranger District. Crews are either on scene or enroute hiking into the difficult to access steep terrain where these fires are located 11 and 13 miles northwest of Cle Elum, WA.
1. Thorp Mountain, 5 acres near Jolly Mountain; the fire is burning in timber and grass. Initially it was staffed with 11 smokejumpers, a 14-person crew, and two engines but firefighters have spread out to help with the other small fires in the same general area.
2. Lookout Fire, 2 acres, near Thorp Lookout
3. Knox Creek Fire, 2 acres
4. No Name Creek Fire, 1/10-1/4 acre
5. No Name Ridge Fire, 1/10-1/4 acre
Two small fires were also found on the Entiat Ranger District and on the Chelan Ranger District, both are ¼ acre and are staffed by firefighters.