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Wildfire update: Saturday morning

Milepost 97 Fire via Inciweb

PORTLAND, Oregon – The Northwest Interagency Coordination Center is tracking the status of six large fires burning in Oregon and Washington:

Milepost 97 Fire has consumed more than 13,000 acres one mile south of Canyonville, Oregon. The human-caused blaze started July 24, and it is currently 45 percent contained with full containment expected on Aug. 18. There are 1,514 personnel including 18 helicopters fighting the fire that threatens 586 residences.

Fire line improvements continued throughout the day Friday with most of the perimeter of the fire in mop up. The northwest corner of the fire remains active and a burnout operation is planned for today.

Williams Flats Fire has burned 5,640 acres five miles east of Keller, Washington and is zero percent contained. It started Friday. The cause of the blaze that is threatening 20 residences and an equal number of minor structures is under investigation. There were 64 firefighters including one helicopter and winged aircraft.

One home has been evacuated. A red flag warning due to winds gusting to 25 miles per hour has been issued today. On-the-ground firefighters are dealing with extremely steep rocky slopes and rattlesnakes. The incident is currently being coordinated by the Colville Confederated Tribes and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. An incident command team from Oregon is expected to arrive this evening.

Boaters are being asked to stay clear of firefighting efforts at Lake Roosevelt Recreational Area. The fire is within the Hellgate Game Preserve on the Colville Indian Reservation.

Left Hand Fire has consumed 3,459 acres 17 miles northwest of Naches, Washington. Caused by lightning, the fire is 70 percent contained and began July 23. There are 197 residences and 50 other structures that are threatened. The estimated full containment date is Aug. 15. Assets include 598 personnel and 15 helicopters.

A cold front will bring gusting winds to the area today, but will also carry cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity. Firefighters are spending the day patrolling the perimeter and mopping up. Bald Mountain Road, Rock Creek Road, and Gold Creek Road remain closed. Level 2 (Get Set) evacuation notices remain in effect along both sides of State Route 410 from the Fire District 14 Station No. 11 to the junction of Gold Creek Road.

The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest has issued a closure order for the area surrounding the fire. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has closed an estimated 5,000 acres of the southwest portion of the Oak Creek Wildlife area.

Sulphur Fire started Friday afternoon and is estimated at 1,000 acres and growing along Highway 260 in Franklin County, Washington between Kahlotus and Connell. Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources shortly after the fire started. Its cause is under investigation.

The fire is threatening homes (no number has been released), crops and power infrastructure. Level 2 (Get Set) evacuations are in effect. More details are expected to be released about this fire when state assets arrive to take incident command.

East Evans Creek Fire has consumed 350 acres 10 miles northwest of Sams Valley, Oregon after it began Friday. The cause of the blaze is under investigation and the fire is reported to be 10 percent contained by the Oregon Department of Forestry. There are more than 208 personnel, including crews for seven helicopters.

It was originally reported as a structure fire in the 18000 block of East Evans Creek Road and spread quickly. Although the fire is burning away from houses, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office issued immediate Level 3 (Go Now) evacuation notices to five residences in the area. Deputies are making door-to-door Level 1 (Get Ready) notices in the area of East Evans Creek Road between the 18500 block and Meadows Road.

Devore Creek Fire has consumed about 180 acres three miles southwest of Stehekin, Washington. Sparked by lightning on July 23, it is zero percent contained, burning in heavy timber. There are 85 personnel fighting the fire with the U.S. Forest Service taking the lead. High winds have grounded air resources.

The extreme terrain (above 8,000 feet) is forcing fire managers to focus on keeping the fire from spreading to Stehekin. A hotshot crew arrived by boat to begin reopening a community protection line that was built four years ago on the southwestern edge of the community. Prevailing winds are expected to push any new growth of the blaze east towards Castle Rock. The fire is located entirely within the Glacier Peak Wilderness.

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