Existing fires in Central Washington grew overnight and new fires have begun to burn, stretching emergency responders even further.
The 840 acre Duncan Ridge fire is burning three miles north of the Cottonwood Guard Station in the Entiat Valley. The fire, which is burning in alpine timber, has been added to the Mills Canyon Complex fire, according to Chelan County Emergency Management.
The Saddle Mountain Fire started Friday afternoon in Kittitas County near the Yakima Training Center. The fire was burning toward Huntzinger Road and cut off 69 people and a fire truck at the Auvil Fruit Company, according to a Kittitas County press release. Forty people were able to escape via the Priest Rapids Dam initially and by Saturday afternoon everyone was safe and accounted for.
The fire had grown to 38,000 acres as of Saturday morning and burned part of an abandoned railroad trestle that crosses the Columbia River at the Grant County line. Three homes were lost in the Getty’s Cove area and three homes burned in the Auvil area.
Huntzinger Road remains closed. A Red Cross shelter for the Saddle Mountain fire evacuees has been set up at the Kittitas High School.
The Carlton Complex fire has now burned 215,000 acres and is moving toward the town of Malott, according to Chelan County Emergency Management.
Some areas of Malott are under immediate evacuation orders known as level 3. Other areas of the town of about 500 are under level 2 evacuation orders, meaning there is significant risk and residents should be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
The town of Twisp is also under level 2 evacuation, Chelan County Emergency Management says.
The Mills Canyon Fire two miles southwest of Entiat is 75 percent contained and did not grow overnight, according to an incident management report prepared by the National Interagency Coordination Center. The Chiwaukum Creek fire nine miles northwest of Leavenworth grew by more than 3,800 acres overnight and is now nearly 8,500 acres in size.
More than 100 homes have been lost, including many in the small town of Pateros.
Red Cross shelters have been set up at Chelan High School, at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church in Omak, at First Baptist Church in Leavenworth and at the Winthrop Barn Auditorium in Winthrop.
The Washington State Animal Response Team is set up at Chelan High School to help care for small animals.
The Red Cross currently cannot accept in-kind donations or gift cards, according to Nicolle LaFleur of the Apple Valley and North Cascades chapters. Cash donations are needed and can be directed toward the Apple Valley Chapter to directly benefit the fire victims. Donations can be made at www.redcross.org/donate or by calling (800) RED-CROSS.
A community meeting on the Chiwaukum Creek Fire is planned for 6 p.m. tonight at Cascade High School in Leavenworth.