Wildfire burning in North Cascades park near Canadian border

The Bear Creek Fire is estimated to have burned about 150 acres.

By Vince Richardson / Skagit Valley Herald

A fire first detected Friday morning in an area of North Cascades National Park near the Canadian border continues to burn.

The Bear Creek Fire is estimated to have burned about 150 acres, though that number is expected to increase as more accurate information becomes available.

The fire is in an area of steep terrain and what the National Park Service calls a heavy, low-moisture fuel load as the result of an abnormally dry, hot summer.

The area received about 0.1 inches of rain overnight Saturday and additional moisture Sunday.

“The fire has become more subdued,” said North Cascades National Park spokesperson Katy Hooper. “The area did receive a small amount of rainfall and temperatures were lower.”

Due to the fire’s location, the weather, and smoke constraints, firefighters are unable to fight the fire. Information is being gathered to develop a safe and effective plan on what steps to take.

“Because of thick smoke and the weather, we have been unable to get any aerial reconnaissance,” Hooper said. “It has been really socked in with smoke, and that means extremely low visibility.”

Hooper said as soon as it’s safe to do so, the park service plans on getting flights in the air.

“We are doing all we can,” she said. “We are itching to get up in the air and see what this fire is doing.

“Of course, until we do that, we cannot safely put anyone on the ground.”

Park officials have closed portions of the Copper Ridge and Chilliwack trails due to the fire’s proximity.

The Copper Ridge Trail is closed from Copper Lookout to its junction with the Chilliwack Trail. The Chilliwack Trail is closed from the junction of the Brush Creek Trail to its terminus. Copper Lake, Bear Creek, Indian Creek and Little Chilliwack camps are also closed.

— Reporter Vince Richardson: 360-416-2181, vrichardson@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter:@goskagit, Facebook.com/VinceReports/

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