Regional News

Wolverine Fire Grows to Nearly 16,000 Acres


Aug 02, 2015

The Wolverine Fire, burning on the west shore of Lake Chelan, made significant growth over a 24 hour period.  A Saturday night infra-red flight showed the fire had expanded to 15,760 acres.  High temperatures and low humidity provided ideal conditions for active fire behavior. The fire moved southwest along the lakeshore between the Twin Harbor and Little Creek drainages and northwest to Bridal Vail Creek. 

After a safe evacuation of the majority of Holden Village residents and mine remediation workers in the morning by boat, at 5:30pm the remaining residents were safely evacuated by helicopter due to Forest Service road 8301 being compromised by fire activity.  Operations at Holden Village and the Holden Mine Remediation are suspended due to fire activity.

Today’s Activities:  At 6:00am today, Type 2 overhead team took over Wolverine Fire operations.  They are in the processes of bringing on more resources.  Three primary groups will be stationed up lake; the Lucerne group will continue with structure protection, mop up and protection of Holden Village. The Lake group will monitor and protect structures along the lakeshore and a third group will be stationed in Stehekin.  Currently there is one hotshot crew and one Initial Attack crew onsite in Lucerne. 

One resident is still at Domke Lake.  Crews will assess and clear the Domke Lake trail today for his safe extraction.  Crews will also clear and patrol the FS road 8301 to Holden which is blocked by debris and rollouts from yesterday’s fire activity.  Structures lost at Domke Lake will be assessed, but are estimated to be at least 3.

There is no spot fire across Lake Chelan, and the fire is not expected to cross the lake. 

The Pacific Crest Trail Detour is CLOSED heading into Holden Village and out of Stehekin as conditions are rapidly changing on the ground.  Northbound hikers will be rerouted out Suiattle River Trail to Suiattle River Road and can shuttle up Highway 20 to Rainy Pass and reconnect with the PCT. 

The Detour is CLOSED southbound in Stehekin at the Harlequin Bridge/Stehekin River Road.  Southbound hikers will need to backtrack or take the Lady of the Lake into Chelan.  Hikers are advised to contact the National Park Service office in Stehekin or the Forest Service office in Chelan for information.  Additional trail and area closures are expected in this area due to fire conditions.

A high pressure system sitting over the fire is causing an inversion.  Smoke is heavy over the fire which creates poor visibility and safety concerns for firefighters.  High temperatures throughout the day combined with low humidity and gusty winds in late afternoon will lead to increased fire activity.

A public meeting will be held tonight at 7pm at the Chelan Fire Station, 2 32 E Wapato Ave, Chelan, WA 98816.  Fire managers and Chelan District Ranger Kari Grover Wier will give a presentation on the Wolverine Fire and will be available for questions. 

 


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