20 Jul 2010, 2:01pm
Latest Fire News
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Crews standing by as fire winds down

By Michele Mihalovich - The Wenatchee World - Friday, July 16, 2010 [here]

ENTIAT — The Swakane Canyon fire probably will not be completely out until the first snow flies.

Because this fire is different from what people near Wenatchee are used to, a public meeting is set for 7 p.m. Saturday at the Entiat Grange, 14108 Kinzel St., said Vladimir Steblina, a spokesman for the Washington Interagency Incident Management Team.

He said fires in this area typically happen in late July, when vegetation is dried out.

“So it’s usually done and over with pretty quickly,” Steblina said.

This fire, which has moved into Wenatchee National Forest at about 4,500 feet above sea level, is coming into contact with green trees and a lot of soggy dead foliage on the ground, he said.

“That’s going to cause a lot of smoldering,” Steblina said. “But when that soggy stuff starts drying out, we will see it flame up.”

There are no homes in the area of concern.

Steblina said the fire is expected to be contained Saturday; but he can’t say when it will be controlled.

He said 389 firefighters will be working on the fire today, dwindling to about half that on Saturday. By Sunday, the crew will be down to about 65 firefighters.

He said crews will man the fire for at least the next two months.

Steblina said the state Department of Natural Resources is investigating the cause of the 20,000-acre fire, which was first reported at about noon Saturday.

In the first few days, the fire quickly burned more than 6,000 acres of dry, grassy areas.



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