The Red Apple Fire north of Wenatchee is almost fully corralled after a weekend of favorable weather conditions that helped firefighters elevate its containment level from only 10 percent on Friday to Monday morning’s (July 19) 83 percent.
All evacuation notices have been lifted except for the unpaved portion of Burch Mountain Road, which remains at Level 2 status.
The blaze has torched 12,288 acres since igniting last Tuesday (July 13) evening. It prompted a call for state mobilization within hours and an emergency declaration from Chelan County Commissioners the following day.
A Type 1 Incident Management Team out of California is currently overseeing the firefight with nearly 300 personnel assigned.
Thousands of residents have been displaced and thousands of homes have been threatened but no primary structures are known to have been lost. Officials have confirmed, however, that several outbuildings and a communications tower have been damaged or destroyed.
Chelan County authorities continue to investigate the cause of the fire with the assistance of various agencies, including the state fire marshal’s office.
Meanwhile, a trio of wildfires are burning in Okanogan County, including the largest – the Cheweah Creek Fire – at over 35,000 acres.
That fire slowed its assault on the landscapes just east of Nespelem over the weekend and is currently listed at 35 percent contained.
The fire destroyed seven homes and forced hundreds to flee shortly after it was ignited by lightning a week ago today.
Elsewhere, across the county, a pair of fires continued their methodical destruction of forestland in the North Cascades.
The Cedar Creek Fire, which was sparked by the same lightning storm that touched off the Cheweah Creek Fire, is now listed at just over 5,900 acres with no official containment.
That blaze is burning approximately six miles west of Mazama in austere terrain that firefighters say will make it difficult to fully corral until autumn.
Concurrently, the nearby Cub Creek 2 Fire is moving at a much quicker pace since sparking on Friday (July 16) from unknown causes.
The blaze has already torched over 8,200 acres and is burning only five miles north of Winthrop at zero-percent containment.
A 15-mile stretch of State Route 20 remains closed due to fire activity on the Cedar Creek and numerous homes are under evacuation orders as a result of both fires.