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In brief: Canyon wildfire prompts evacuations

About 17 residents of Swakane Canyon north of Wenatchee in Chelan County were evacuated after fire broke out there early Saturday afternoon.

The fire had grown to 3,000 acres by 7:30 p.m.

“It’s made it down to the Game Department facility (on Swakane Road) approximately 2  1/2 miles from (Highway) 97A,” Brent Stanger, operations coordinator for Central Washington Interagency Communications Center, said earlier in the day.

The fire was moving east down the canyon and was contained to the canyon Saturday afternoon, according to Stanger. “It’s moving very slowly toward Burch (Mountain),” Stanger said. He added that the fire is on Department of Natural Resources, Forest Service and county land.

“It’s a lot closer than they originally thought, maybe two or three miles (up the road from the highway),” Chelan County sheriff’s Deputy Wendell Holve said at about 2:15 p.m. “They’re contemplating that it might hit the road (Highway 97A).”

The evacuees were directed to a Red Cross shelter in Wenatchee, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest officials reported.

Stanger said about 20 engines, a few crews, five helicopters and two air tankers were involved in fighting the fire. Additional personnel were requested Saturday night.

Wenatchee World

WWII pilots to be feted in Sandpoint

Female pilots who served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II will be honored Saturday at the Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center in Sandpoint.

About 20 female pilots will attend the event, which is free and open to the public. Women Airforce Service Pilots, also known as WASP, were the first women in history to fly American military aircraft, including bombers, transports and training aircraft. They flew more than 60 million miles during the war.

The event starts at 9 a.m. with a fly-in, followed by a 10 a.m. recognition ceremony and an opportunity for members of the public to meet the women. It lasts until 1:30 p.m.

The Bird museum is about 34 miles north of Coeur d’Alene. From U.S. Highway 95, turn right onto Sagle Road and travel 11.8 miles before turning left onto Bird Ranch Road. For more information, call (208) 255-4321 or visit www.

Staff reports