Wildfires lead to State of Emergency declaration

information released by Chelan County Commission

For the second time in just over a month, a state of emergency has been declared in Chelan County in response to a wildfire.

The Twenty-Five Mile Fire started Sunday afternoon and burned some 4,000 acres by morning. The origin of the fire has been identified as being near Shady Pass Campground; the cause is under investigation. One structure has been destroyed. A Type 3 incident management team is leading firefighting efforts at this time.

Chelan County commissioners on Monday signed a resolution, declaring the disaster. The emergency declaration affords commissioners the ability to use local resources without going through the typical government bidding process for goods and services. It is also generally a prerequisite for most state and federal recovery assistance funding.

“We want to avoid declaring a third disaster in Chelan County this summer,” Commissioner Bob Bugert said. “We all should use a much higher level of caution during wildfire season and join together in preventing these disasters.”

On July 13, the Red Apple Fire started near a road beside an orchard on Red Apple Road near Cashmere. The wildfire ultimately burned 12,288 acres and threatened to destroy hundreds of homes in the Sunnyslope area. No homes were lost; however, five structures were burned. A state of emergency was determined at that time.

A variety of evacuation levels, impacting 327 homes, remain in place for the Twenty-Five Mile Fire. Level 3 (Go!) evacuation levels are on for Shady Pass Road and South Lakeshore Road, from just above Fields Point Landing Road to the end of the road. Level 2 (Get Set) evacuation levels are from Fields Point Landing Road to Morning Sun Drive. And Level 1 (Get Ready) evacuation levels are from Morning Sun Drive to Kelly’s Resort (12800 South Lakeshore Road).

Chelan County Fire Marshal Bob Plumb warns that everyone must reconsider their actions when in the outdoors. A recent local fire was started when a lawnmower hit a rock, and another appears to have been started by target shooting in a local canyon, he said.

“We don’t have the resources to fight large wildfires right now,” Plumb said. “State resources are dedicated, fighting fires around the state. If we get another big fire in Chelan County, our firefighting resources may be overwhelmed.”

For updates on the wildfire, monitor the social media pages for both Chelan County Emergency Management and the Twentyfive-Mile Fire.