Crews make great progress in central Washington wildfires

LAKE CHELAN, Wash. -- Calmer winds helped firefighters make great progress Friday on a fire burning just west of Lake Chelan, officials said.

The 25 Mile Creek Fire started Thursday afternoon. As of Friday afternoon, it had burned about 400 acres.

For several hours Friday, tourists could hear a constant buzzing around 25 Mile Creek State Park. A helicopter was seen filling up with water from the lake to dump on the smoke rising from a nearby ridge.

Quinn Burnett, who works at a small store inside the state park, had a front row seat for the entire thing.

"I've lived here all my life and this isn't the first fire. I've seen this time and time again, but it's really cool," said Burnett.

During a typical weekend in July, all the camp sites inside the park are full, Burnett said. But a number of people who made reservations decided not to come. They thought some of the roads in and around the area were closed and it would be really smoky, Burnett said.

"They think the road's closed and they're all the way from Seattle, so they don't want to drive three hours and figure out the road's closed. So, they're just not gonna come at all. Well, the road's not closed. Beautiful weather out and there's no one here," Burnett said.

Harry Mayer, his family, and some childhood friends almost made the decision to not come to the park on Friday after hearing about the fire on Thursday night. He was in Enumclaw when he heard the park was still open, he said.

"We still had reservations, and it's closer than Banks," said Mayer.

"The way it looked on the way up here, it looked like we were gonna be socked in with smoke, but it's a lot clearer than I thought," said Craig Gensel, who's visiting the park from Mill Creek.

Several homeowners were told to be ready to evacuate if the fire's path changes, officials said. That's not expected to happen if the winds continue to stay relatively calm.

Investigators have not determined a cause of the fire, officials said