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Crews finally gaining some ground on Eagle Fire

eagle fireLEAVENWORTH, Wash. — The Eagle Wildfire in Chelan County is reaching a turning point with fire crews beginning to see their hard work paying off.

After fighting the fire for three days, crews reached 10 percent containment of the fire Thursday.

Officials estimate that the fire has burned 1,189 acres as of Thursday morning. About 600 firefighters are now fighting the fire, and crews are working around the clock in three shifts and slowly gaining ground.

No one has been injured and the fire has not damaged any property, officials said. However, the growth potential is still very high and the terrain is difficult for crews to navigate. Much of the front lines of the fire are not accessible. Eagle creek Road is closed to the public about 1 mile above the junction with the Chumstick Road.

Despite the factors working against fire fighters, they continue to press on, Fire Information Officer Bernie Pineda said.

“We’ve got a morning shift which is prepping now at this point and then we’ll have an evening shift as well,” Pineda said. “At that rate, with that much work, with that many boots on the ground, and the aircraft that we have, we hope to get this thing closed off before too long.”

Thirty homes are still under a mandatory evacuation order and residents in another 35 homes are ready to leave at a moment’s notice. So far, 596 firefighters were assigned to the fire. Nine hand crews, five helicopters and one heavy helicopter used for dipping water were utilized.

Fire growth continues to slow, officials said, as favorable weather conditions exist, especially on the west and south sides of the blaze.

The American Red Cross has opened an evacuation center at the Middle School at 10195 Titus Road in Leavenworth and it is staffed 24 hours a day.  For information or to donate, call the Wenatchee Red Cross at 663-3907.

Fires producing potentially harmful smoke can be of concern to elderly, young children, and anyone with respiratory health conditions and those persons may need to limit outdoor activities and to take precautions by staying indoors until smoke conditions improve. For more information on air quality:  http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/local.html.

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