Several Fires Pumping Smoke Into Central Washington
Several forest fires are contributing smoke to the hazy conditions in central Washington and prompting some forest service trail and campsite closures.
Wednesday, the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest reporeds the Airplane Lake Fire burning in the Glacier Peak Wilderness approximately 22 miles northwest of Leavenworth, WA. had grown significantly since Monday.
Images from a survey flight on Wednesday revealed the fire estimate is up to to 900 acres and growing. The fire is burning on the northeastern side of Mt. Saul in the White River drainage.
Forest service crews sweeping trails in preparation for a closure for areas immediately around the fire. The areas impacted areas include the White River Trail, Boulder Creek Trail, Indian Creek Trail, White River Rd beyond Tall Timbers, White River Falls Campground, and Grasshopper Meadows Campground.
Chelan County has issued a Level 1 (Ready) evacuation notice for the White River Road (FS 6400) to the west of Tall Timbers.
Chelan County Emergency Management reports the Level 1 Notice applies ONLY to the U.S. Forest Service portion of White River Road. This will results in a closure of Forest Service trails and campsites in the area. The Level 1 starts at the Forest Service portion of White River Road at the turnaround.
The Level 1 DOES NOT impact any Chelan County roads or right-of-way, or homes. Tall Timber Lodge is not included in the Level 1 (get ready) alert.
The current plan on the Airplane Lake Fire given the lack of access, is to continue a confinement suppression strategy with natural features like rock escarpments, wet drainages and previously burned areas to contain the fire.
Fire personnel will continue to monitor and evaluate the fire activity and adjust tactics as needed.
Three other fires are burning in the area on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. The Chocolate Creek, Sulphur Lake, and Dome Peak fires are north of Airplane Lake, between Glacier Peak and Stehekin.
The most active is the Dome Peak fire, located in the headwaters of a tributary of the Suiattle River. The fire grew considerably in the last couple of days to over 750 acres. If growth continues this could trigger a closure of a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail on the Entiat District on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.