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Fire prompts brief highway closure

Mon., July 12, 2010

WENATCHEE – U.S. Highway 97A reopened to traffic Sunday after a brief closure starting about 5:35 p.m. when winds blew the Swakane Canyon fire to the roadway.

Fire officials Sunday afternoon had put residents living along Highway 97A near the mouth of Swakane Canyon on Level 1 alert, meaning residents should be aware of the fire, people who have health conditions should have evacuation plans in place, and people with livestock should be looking for places to place their animals, said Karen Ripley, spokesman for the Washington Interagency Incident Management Team that is in charge of the fire.

The blaze, which was reported about noon Saturday, has already forced the evacuation of about 18 people living up Swakane Canyon. Many of those people spent Saturday night at a Red Cross shelter set up at the Wenatchee Seventh Day Church.

As of 9 a.m. Sunday, the fire had burned 4,500 acres.


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