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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Wildfires force evacuation of Lucerne, Holden Village; PCT hikers re-routed

A wildfire billows up from the Glacier Peak Wilderness area south of Lake Chelan on Aug. 1, 2015. (Rich Landers)
A wildfire billows up from the Glacier Peak Wilderness area south of Lake Chelan on Aug. 1, 2015. (Rich Landers)

Update 8/3/15 -- The fire is reported at 16,000 acres today, up from 4,000 acres on Saturday.

BACKCOUNTRY -- Here's the source of most of the area's smoke woes -- the fires in the Glacier Peak Wilderness.  Here's a shot I made today as I hiked south on the Pacific Crest Trail near Harts Pass. The fire that's exploding in this photo is the Wolverine Fire south of Lake Chelan.

On Friday, the fire forced the evacuation of Holden Village and Holden Mine Remediation crews.  Holden village wasn't threatened at that time, but Lucerne Landing was in danger, and that's the boat evacuation route for the Village on Lake Chelan. 

The Wolverine fire was very active overnight and into this morning, growing to approximately 4,000 acres.  Late afternoon yesterday a spot fire was reported from the air ½ mile south of Lightning Creek along the lakeshore.  The spot fire made significant runs up Lightning Creek and is now well established on Lightning Ridge.

Pacific Crest Trail hikers had been detoured off the trail to Stehekin and routed to Holden.  Now the detour is CLOSED heading into Holden Village and out of Stehekin as conditions are rapidly changing on the ground.  Northbound hikers are being rerouted out Suiattle River Trail to Suiattle River Road and can shuttle up Highway 20 to Rainy Pass and reconnect with the PCT. 

This is a huge bummer for thru hikers who are trying to wrap up a 2,650-mile quest they started months ago at Mexico and hope to close soon in Canada.

The Detour is CLOSED southbound in Stehekin at the Harlequin Bridge/Stehekin River Road.  Southbound hikers will need to backtrack or take the Lady of the Lake into Chelan.  Hikers are advised to contact the National Park Service office in Stehekin or the Forest Service office in Chelan for information.  Additional trail and area closures are expected in this area due to fire conditions.

Outdoors blog

Rich Landers writes and photographs stories and columns for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including Outdoors feature sections on Sunday and Thursday.

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