Following last nights wild thunderstorm, a second fire wildfire has started and is now being managed by the Navarre Fire Incident Management Team. The Chelan Butte Fire is estimated at 50 - 100 acres burning on the east side of Chelan Butte. The fire is burning on a mix of ownerships including private, State and FederalLands. Two 20-person hand crews, five engines, a dozer, and minimal overhead are being moved from the Navarre Fire to provide assistance to Chelan Fire District Number 7. The cause was determined to be lightening. The fire is burning in steep terrain in shrub and grass fuels.
The original Navarre Fire which has been burning since last Thursday afternoon, stayed within the containment lines over night but did grow to nearly 700 acres over the weekend; the fire spread to the north and south due to hot dry weather conditions. Current firefighting resources include more than 200 personnel from state, county, and federal agencies plus contract fire crews, fire engines, bulldozers, and helicopters; more resources are available if needed. The fire was estimated to be about 75 percent contained yesterday and no structures have burned.
Due to increased fire activity yesterday, all residences immediately adjacent to the west side of Navarre Coulee Road (Hwy 971) between the Hwy. 97A intersection and mile post 7 on Navarre Coulee Road are now in Level 2 Evacuation notice. A Level 2 evacuation notice means that residents must be prepared to leave at a moment's notice. ChelanCounty Sheriff's deputies notified landowners of the change in status.
Multiple structure protection engines were located at various locations overnight and fire engines patrolled Navarre Coulee and Johnson Creek roads overnight.
Yesterday, firefighters reinforced firelines on the south and southwest flanks of the fire where burnout occurred on Saturday and continuing mop-up operations on other flanks. Hot weather, steep terrain, rolling rocks and other rolling debris are major concerns for firefighter safety. So far, two firefighters have received minor injuries due to rolling rocks and another firefighter experienced a heat-related health issue; all of these individuals have returned to the fireline.
Weather conditions continue to be hot and dry with predictions for temperatures to reach triple digits again this afternoon.
Motorists traveling on US Highway 97A need to be aware as aircraft dip water from the Columbia River. Please do not park along the highway or impede firefighting apparatus working in the area.
Restrictions on boat access near the helicopter dipping site on the Columbia River remain in effect.
A Type 3 Incident Management Team, led by Incident Commander Tony Gilmer, is directing firefighting efforts from an incident base camp located at the ChelanSchool District administration community gym in unified command with jurisdictions of Chelan Fire District No. 7, US Forest Service and Washington State Department of Natural Resources.
Incident management personnel want to thank the public for their continued cooperation and patience during ongoing suppression efforts.