The Washington Department of Natural Resources has critical updates regarding the Pioneer Fire.

The fire started blazing on Saturday afternoon (12:45 p.m. local time). It struck about 30 miles northwest of Chelan, on the north shore of Lake Chelan, prompting Level 3 evacuations in the Rex Creek area. Click here for detailed evacuation info.

The impacted terrain is "steep and remote" according to a DNR press release. This poses "unique challenges to containment efforts and logistics."

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"Right now the fire is estimated at 600 acres," says DNR spokesperson Ryan Rodruck. "We do have significant resources on the fire, including five crews on the ground consisting of approximately 100 firefighters."

According to the press release, "Crews have made progress in establishing hose lines and are working to dig containment lines."

In addition to the firefighters themselves, there is "administrative support" on the ground as well as a food truck to keep personnel sufficiently nourished.

"We're ready to continue addressing this fire for as long as needed," Rodruck says. To that end, a "fire camp" has been set up for short-term lodging.

Says Rodruck, "We're continuing air operations throughout the day today. We are expecting wind - potential gusts of 32 mph, which could present some challenges. Crews are working to make those lines are hardened prior to that incoming wind event."

The origins of the Pioneer Fire are still a mystery according to Rodruck. The fire is believed to have "originated from a structural fire," but at this time nothing is known definitively.

"However," Rodruck says, "If anyone has information, or pictures of the start location, our investigators would certainly welcome you reaching out to them. They can be found at"

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Gallery Credit: Dan Patrick

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