Firefighting crews are gaining the upper hand on the Gold Creek Fire in Okanogan County.

The blaze is located about three miles south of Carlton and has burned 278 acres of timber, tall grass, and brush since first being reported on June 22.

Okanogan County Emergency Management spokesperson, Maurice Goodall, says it's been challenging for crews to get the fire under control because of another blaze that went through the same area ten years ago.

"In 2014, the Carlton Complex Fire burned through there. So some of the issues have been getting personnel in there to get some of the internal burning stopped have been all the snags. There's a lot of old trees that are in that area and they've been falling continuously and it's created a personnel safety hazard."

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There are currently 176 personnel assigned to the fire, which incident managers now describe as "smoldering with minimal spread".

Goodall says smoke impacts from the fire have lightened considerably in recent days after being much heavier for a time.

"There was definitely an impact. We had a lot of people calling and wanting to know where all the smoke was coming from. It did come down the Methow (Valley) and when it came in, it really socked things in on the south and middle forks - mostly the south fork. There was zero visibility in there for a while."

The Methow Valley has also been seeing smoke impacts from the Pioneer Fire, which is burning about 40 miles to the south, and both blazes have intermittently worsened air quality readings in the region.

The Gold Creek Fire is currently listed at 70% containment and incident managers are hoping to achieve full containment within the next week.

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