Methow Fire Inadvertently Started At Chelan PUD Work Site
There's no more danger from Tuesday's Methow Fire in South Wenatchee, which burned 150 acres and threatened 50 homes at one point.
Wenatchee Valley Fire Department Chief Brian Brett says the fire was inadvertently started by a Chelan County PUD crew that was working on Methow Street.
"Whatever utility work they were doing caused something molten to hit the ground and landed in the receptive fuels which caused the fire," said Brett. "And on that slope in those type of fuels, those quickly get out of control."
Brett says the PUD crew quickly reported the fire, and was especially helpful in using two of their heavy duty tractors to form a fire line to block off some of the flames.
Aircraft were requested through state mobilization protocols. A total of eight aircraft - three helicopters and five airplanes arrived to assist ground crews. The aircraft mostly accessed water from the Columbia River to dump on the fire.
The blaze was mostly contained within about six hours. A crew of several Wenatchee Valley firefighters were dispatched to the scene Wednesday morning to monitor any remaining hot spots within the fire's footprint, mostly in the area of Champion Lane and Trigger Lane.
Lingering moisture in the ground helped to keep the blaze from developing into a much bigger hazard.
Brett says the current streak of hot weather will quickly change conditions, though.
“This week with the weather that we have, after the end of this week with the Fourth of July, these fine fuels that we have here in the valley, they will all be dried and cured out.”
Brett expressed thanks for the public support given during Tuesday's firefighting effort. He also thanked to Ballard and Lifeline ambulance services for their presence on the scene to help firefighters and residents.