Wildfires burning near Wenatchee, Goldendale

WENATCHEE — More than 1,600 firefighters were working to control two wildfires burning east of Washington’s Cascade Range, including a blaze that has destroyed several homes and outbuildings and grew significantly in size Tuesday.

The Colockum Tarps Fire has burned across more than 73 square miles of grass, sagebrush and timber southeast of Wenatchee in the Colockum Pass area. The fire was 5 percent contained, but the flames spread rapidly Tuesday, churning through dry fuels to the south, fire spokesman Peter Frenzen said.

The fire already has burned three primary homes and several outbuildings.

Residents of about 60 homes have been evacuated. Authorities were reviewing evacuation levels in some areas, particularly on the north end of the blaze, to see if some people could return home.

However, Frenzen said, authorities in Kittitas County were considering additional evacuations at recreation areas along the Columbia River as a precaution. Fire crews were focusing on protecting power lines, recreation areas, wind farms and some scattered homes south of the fire, he said.

Thunderstorms forecast for much of Eastern Washington later this week also are raising fears about high winds and lightning, which could spark even more fires.

“The winds and the thunderstorms are a concern, but on the plus side, we’re also looking at the possibility of some moisture by Thursday,” Frenzen said.

Dry brush and grasses and moderate winds were fueling the blaze. A so-called scoop plane, which flies low to scoop up water, and an air tanker were dropping water and retardant on the fire.

The fire started Saturday. The cause was under investigation.

Further south, about 1,300 firefighters were working to control a fire that has burned across 32 square miles around Satus Pass and closed Highway 97 between Goldendale and Toppenish.

The fire was 40 percent contained Tuesday. Evacuation levels were lowered for residents of 69 homes on the fire’s sound end, allowing them to return home, said Bruce Livingston, a Washington Department of Natural Resources spokesman.

A perimeter containment line was established most of the way across the southern and western end of the fire, Livingston said, and crews were focusing on the eastern edge of the blaze.

The blaze ignited last Wednesday and the cause was under investigation.

More in Local News

Child porn found in forest treehouse and Mill Creek home

Daniel Wood, 56, has been charged with two counts of possession of child pornography.

The rules: You can’t put just anything on your vanity plate

The state keeps a “banned list” of character combinations that will automatically be denied.

Driver killed in crash identified as Monroe man

Anthony Ray Vannelli Jr. died of blunt force injuries. He was 37.

Edmonds man gets nearly 14 years for murder of roommate

Derrick Crawford, 22, admitted that he shot and intended to kill 27-year-old Joshua Werner.

Motorcyclist seriously hurt in Everett hit-and-run

Police are searching for the driver and a gray Dodge Stratus with extensive front-end damage.

Masked gunman sought in shooting at house near Darrington

The suspect — a neighbor — is still at large. There were no injuries reported, but a television was hit.

‘Working together again like we did back then’ to save fish

Tribes and agencies convene to continue the fight to save salmon — in the name of Billy Frank Jr.

Rape involving students reported at Sultan Middle School

The school district and sheriff’s office are saying little, but officials sought to dispel rumors.

Sound Transit lobbies Congress to keep Lynnwood line funded

President Trump wants to cut a $1.17 billion grant. Bipartisans in Congress could preserve it.

Most Read