The Wenatchee Valley Fire Department is bracing for an active summer of wildfires after two brush fires in three days. 

The Rock Island fire Friday burned about 75 acres while Sunday afternoon's fire in the No. 2 Canyon consumed 60 acres. 

There's a current weather pattern that's bringing waves of heavy wind and low humidity into eastern Washington and will continue to do so for a couple of weeks.  

According to the state Department of Natural Resources, it's being caused by a low-pressure system that's consistently hung out in the Gulf of Alaska which has been driving intermittent dry cold fronts into the Northwest. 

Sunday evening's fire in No. 2 Canyon started during a Red Flag warning for high wind in the area.  

At one point, it was threatening the entirety of Kings Court and part of Castle Heights Road.  

Fire Chief Brian Brett says Sunday's fire location was reminiscent of the 1992 Castlerock Fire that destroyed 24 homes. 

"We were anticipating it cresting the ridge on the east flank and then being wind driven down into the residences," said Brett. "But fortunately, we were able to hang it up into that drainage and then re-shift our strategy to hand crews with the air support and dozer to box it in." 

Quick use of air resources brought Sunday's fire under control within a couple of hours. Four helicopters and three scooper airplanes dumped water on the fire while an additional plane directed air traffic. 

"The potential is enormous, anytime we get these fires on the slopes right above the city," said Brett. "The probability of them burning down, being wind driven into the city is very high."

While the No. 2 Canyon fire quickly went to three alarms, a wind driven structure fire in Orondo was elevated to two alarms at the same time. Resources became temporarily strained. 

Brett says air resources are already stretched thin and competition for those resources is high as the fire season is just getting going. 

Air resources were not utilized Friday. But Brett said a helicopter was ordered twice, with availability both times being an hour away. 

He said they ran into heavy complications with a request Sunday. 

"We were going to order a LAT, a large airtanker to put some (fire) retardant along the ridgeline, and the closest one was in Oregon," Brett said. 

Brett said there are challenges ahead as the fire season is far from its most intense time period in July and August when danger is typically most prevalent. 

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