September 4th, 2016 saw fire break out in the Horse Lake area above Wenatchee. The fire appeared to stay isolated high on the hillside though those living in the Broadview Heights, Sleepy Hollow Heights, and Horse Lake Road area were put under various evacuation levels.
Air power plays a big role in fighting wildfires. Both planes and helicopters drop water and fire retardant on the fires themselves or in their paths. Here are a few photos of some of the helicopters joining in the fight against the Chiwaukum Creek Fire.
The Chiwaukum Creek Fire continued to burn during the week of July 20th. Highway 2 remained closed from Leavenworth, at the mouth of the Tumwater Canyon, to Coles Corner in the west. A detour opened up on highway 207 that went out to Lake Wenatchee State Park and the Chumstick Highway through Plain.
The Chiwaukum Creek fire burned aggressively Wednesday and by late afternoon had led to US 2 being closed between Leavenworth and Coles Corner. This closure was later moved further west to the summit of Stevens Pass.
The terrain is thick forest which gives the fire plenty of fuel.
Firefighting personnel was stationed earlier in the day at the Nason Creek Rest Area. Later they would begin to gather at the Lake Wenatchee State Airport.
The Mills Canyon Fire began Tuesday around the middle of the day and quickly became a major fire that was sure to dominate the news in the region for awhile. Not too long after it began, its plume of white smoke could easily be seen against the blue sky for miles around.
Mills Canyon Road, the turn off to Mills Canyon from Entiat River Road, sits just over three miles up the valley from Entiat, the Columbia River, and Highway 97A. The road is popular with those looking to get out in wilderness but still stay close to home as it is relatively close to Wenatchee, Chelan, and of course Entiat.
The fire grew over the course of the afternoon and after first burning in a south and south west direction, turned and headed east, back in the direction of the Columbia River.
Early Wednesday morning, water build up from an earlier summer rainstorm came rushing down a small canyon just south of Entiat. It pushed mud, rocks, trees, and other debris out over the highway, across the railroad tracks, and out into the Columbia River. The highway remained closed the entire day and still no opening is planned as the Department of Transportation will be reassessing it in the morning.
There were other mud slides further north on 97A, but those were cleaned up rather quickly and though the highway remained closed from Chelan south, local traffic was allowed through down as far as Entiat.
More photos from the mud slide on 97A just north of Turtle Rock Estates:
Click to enlarge
These photos courtesy of the Washington State Dept. of Transportation