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Central Washington wildfire grows to 34 square miles; 22% contained

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The Mills Canyon Fire south of Lake Chelan. (Photo: Cushman Photography)

mills.canyon

The Mills Canyon Fire south of Lake Chelan. (Photo: Cushman Photography)

CHELAN COUNTY — Burnout operations were successful on Friday as crews worked to protect homes at the Mills Canyon Fire about two miles west of Entiat.

The fire, which started on Tuesday, has burned 21,823 acres. As of Saturday morning, it was 22-percent contained.

Hot and dry weather conditions are not helping firefighters and the situation could only get worse. Thunderstorms are in the forecast for Sunday and Monday.

A level 3 mandatory evacuation order is in place for 42 homes and 83 others have been told they might have to leave at a moment’s notice.

Three outbuildings have burned, but the good news is that no homes have been lost.

Highway 97A was closed as the fire approached the road, but officials reopened the highway late Friday.

Officials say 763 people are working to contain the fire which is burning grass, brush and timber.

Firefighters planned to focus on the west edge of the fire on Saturday — making sure the fire does not spread toward any populated areas.

Crews say smoke may be heavy in the Entiat River Valley and Wenatchee. Anyone with respiratory health conditions should limit their time outdoors.

The Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Seventh Day Adventist Church on 5th and Western in Wenatchee for anyone who has been evacuated.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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A map of the Mills Canyon Fire on Saturday, July 12th. (Credit: InciWeb)

25 Mile Creek Fire

The 25 Mile Creek Fire started Thursday west of Lake Chelan. Officials reduced the size of the fire to 240 acres after better mapping.

The fire was 75-percent contained as of Friday evening. Incident Commander Dave Brown said he expected the fire to be 100-percent contained sometime Saturday.

This is burning 25 miles ouside the city of Chelan and located near the terminus of the South Shore Road, and 1 1/2 miles east of Darby Draw.

The entire South Shore Road adjacent to Lake Chelan remains open to the public, as does the 25 Mile Creek State Park.

A Level 3 mandatory evacuation order by the Chelan County sheriff remains in effect for  Shady Pass Road, affecting about 6-10 households.

Lake Spokane Fire

A bigger fire near Spokane has blackened about 1,000 acres. It is about 50 percent contained.

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