Major wildfires scorch 135,000 acres across Washington state
Several wildfires burning across Washington state have scorched roughly 135,000 acres combined and most are still growing as firefighters struggle to contain them and prevent further damage.
Hundreds of homes and other buildings are potentially threatened, and many residents have evacuated or are preparing to leave at a moment's notice if a mandatory evacuation order is issued.
Here is a rundown of the major fires burning now and their status as of Tuesday morning:
Grass Valley Fire
The state's largest wildfire, the Grass Valley Fire, has burned nearly 75,000 acres of grassland and brush west of Grand Coulee Dam. It spread rapidly at first, but is now 40 percent contained and is expected to be completely contained by Thursday.
The wildfire broke out on Saturday and quickly moved toward homes and businesses, prompting evacuation orders for about 150 homes near Grand Coulee Dam. One home was damaged and five outbuildings were destroyed before firefighters stopped its progress, and evacuation orders were lifted.
A firefighter suffered burns on the fire near Mansfield. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for treatment.
More information about the fire can be found here ...
Cougar Creek Fire
The second-largest wildfire in the state, the Cougar Creek Fire has torched 31,062 acres in thick timber about 20 miles northwest of the community of Entiat. It is only 5 percent contained.
The wildfire has been burning since July 28, when it was sparked by lightning. About 300 homes and businesses are threatened by the blaze, and many residents have been told to be ready to evacuate if needed.
Currently, about 1,200 personnel are fighting the Cougar Creek fire. Their main goal now is to aggressively attack the fire and reinforce fire lines before increasing winds, higher temperatures and lower humidity later this week. One firefighter was injured when he was bitten by a rattlesnake.
The estimated total containment date is Sept. 15. More information can be found here ...
Crescent Mountain Fire
The state's third-largest wildfire, the Crescent Mountain Fire has scorched 17,075 acres in a forested area about 20 miles west of the town of Twisp. It is 37 percent contained.
The wildfire was sparked by lightning on July 29 and has been spreading ever since, although the rate of growth has slowed. Several roads and trails have been closed by the fire, and several residents have been warned to prepare in case a mandatory evacuation is needed. The fire is now about 1.7 miles from the nearest home.
Currently, about 680 firefighters are battling the Crescent Mountain Fire and have made good progress on containinng the blaze. Hotter and drier condition are expected later in the week, which could increase fire activity. The estimated total containment date is Oct. 22. More information can be found here ...
Currently the only major fire burning in Western Washington, the Maple Fire has torched about 1,245 acres in the Olympic Mountains about five miles west of Hood Canal in the Hamma Hamma River area. It is 40 percent contained.
The wildfire is human-caused and has been burning in heavy timber on steep slopes since Aug. 4. Several trails and logging roads are closed by the fire, and hikers were evacuated from the immediate vicinity of the blaze last week.
A total of 336 personnel are fighting the fire. Fire activity is expected to pick up Wednesday as temperatures rise and the humidity drops. The estimated total containment date is Oct. 31. More information can be found here ...
One of the state's newest fires, Boyd's Fire has scorched nearly 3,000 acres of timber and brush about three miles northwest of Kettle Falls. The wildfire has destroyed at least three homes and threatens more than 100 more. The blaze is zero percent contained.
Boyd's Fire was ignited on Saturday from unknown causes and quickly spread into dried-out timber. Mandatory evacuations were in place Tuesday and the Red Cross had set up a shelter at Kettle Falls High School.
A total of 316 firefighters are battling the blaze. Hot temperatures and low humidity are expected to contribute to fire activity in the coming days.
Road closures include S.R. 20 in both directions from milepost 337 Inchelium Road to milepost 342. Highway 395 is one lane from Barney's Junction to Boyd's. More information can be found here ...
Located about two miles southeast of White Pass, the Miriam Fire has burned roughly 2,250 acres of timber and brush near Hell Creek. It is only about 10 percent contained.
Sparked by lightning on July 30, the fire has spread slowly but officials fear it could become more active as temperatures rise and the air dries.
A total of nearly 400 personnel are battling the blaze from the air and ground. Evacuation status has been lowered from Level 2 to Level 1 around Rimrock Lake.
More information about the fire can be found here ...
Horn's Mountain Fire
Another new wildfire, the Horn's Mountain Fire has burned about 838 acres of timber and heavy logging slash 12 miles north of Northport, Wash., near the Canadian border.
Lightning strikes sparked the blaze on Saturday.
A total of 229 firefighters are on scene and are making fast progress as they fight the blaze from the ground and air. Higher temperatures and lower humidity are expected encourage fire growth, but officials say they hope to have the blaze contained by Wednesday. More information can be found here ...
Angel Springs Fire
No longer considered much of a threat, the Angel Springs Fire is almost completely contained after burning through 5,046 acres of timber, brush and tall grass about seven miles northeast of Davenport.
The fire was sparked by mechanical equipment on Aug. 2. The blaze spread quickly at first and evacuation orders were issued earlier, but now the blaze is mostly out.
About 67 firefighters remain on scene to mop up the fire. More information about the fire can be found here ...
Several other smaller fires in central and eastern Washington are burning or have merged with the larger fires above, including the Sheep Creek Fire near Northport, the Lost Fire, the Bannock Lakes Fire in the Glacier Peaks Wilderness and the Whitepine Fire in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.