DARRINGTON — Three fires burning in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest northeast of Darrington grew over the weekend, but cooler weather continued to moderate fire activity.
The Suiattle River Fire grew from 5 acres to 70 acres. That fire is the highest priority for fire crews to contain. Some cabins are in the Lower Suiattle Valley where the flames are approaching.
The Boulder Lake and Lake Toketie Fires, located on rougher terrain and further away from “values at risk,” grew to 985 acres and 265 acres respectively, according to the Forest Service. Going into the long weekend, each of those fires had been estimated at 100 acres or less.
All three fires have been burning since mid-August in the National Forest.
On Sunday, the local Forest Service unit transitioned management of the fires. Firefighters from Wyoming and Yakima were assisting.
Crews assessed private property, state lands and recreation facilities like the Suiattle Guard Station and Buck Creek Campground for protection.
On Monday, crews continued removing dead brush and trees near the fire.
Fire crews were working to keep the fire contained north of Suiattle River Road, east of Grade Creek Road and west of the Buck Creek Drainage. The flames had not expanded beyond that “box,” according to the Forest Service.
A Level 1 “Be Ready” Evacuation Notice was issued last week for that area, which includes the lower Suiattle Valley, north of the Suiattle River. The alert means residents should be ready to leave: “There is no immediate danger to your home, family or business, but the fire or other danger may be moving toward you.”
Trails, roads and campgrounds near the fires remain closed. That includes Suiattle River Road (Forest Road 26) at the 10½ mile marker, Buck Creek campground, the Boulder Lake trail, the Huckleberry Mountain trail, the Buck Creek trail, the Green Mountain trail, the Downey Creek trail, the Suiattle River trail, the Sulphur Creek trail, the Sulphur Mountain trail and the Tenas Creek trail.
Contact the Darrington Ranger Station at 360-436-1155 for updated trail and road closures, or check the Forest Service’s website.