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‘Be Your Own Fire Chief’ – Extreme Weather Increasing Fire Danger Today, Tomorrow

Extreme fire danger is ahead today and tomorrow, says Glenn Brautaset, Assistant Fire Chief for Chelan County Fire District #3 in Leavenworth. He said all local residents must be vigilant, stay up on weather changes and prepare the family for evacuations should fire reach their neighborhood.

Evacuation notices increased in the upper Entiat Valley yesterday from the still-growing Cougar Creek Fire. Entiat River Road from Mad River north to the end of the road is at Level 3, which means “leave immediately.” Mad River Road and the community of Ardenvoir are now elevated to Level 2, which means “prepare to leave at a moment’s notice.” Level 1 evacuations are now in place on both sides of Entiat River Road from Crum Canyon to the Mad River Road intersection. Both sides of Crum Canyon Road are also now at Level 1, which means “time to prepare.” The fire is now 12,428 acres and five percent contained.

Structure protection groups are in place along the Entiat River Road and in Plain.

The Lost Fire north of Chiwawa River Pines is now about 114 acres after little growth the last two days. A second Type 2 initial attack crew joined the 80 firefighters already involved in aggressive direct attack on this fire. With aerial support, crews continues building line in the steep, rocky terrain through patches of alpine fir, scattered downed logs, and standing snag trees.

The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning until Saturday morning for hot, dry and unstable conditions. A strong cold front will move into the area this afternoon bringing dry gusty winds and an overnight threat of thunderstorms with lightning but little rain. This combination results in critical fire weather conditions with the potential for increased fire spread of current fires and possible new fire starts.

Photo: Carl Melear, Field Observer, retardant drop on Miners Ridge

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