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FIRE REPORT: Lake Chelan fire strands hikers

by JOEL MARTIN
Staff Writer | June 11, 2024 1:30 AM

MOSES LAKE — A wildfire along the shore of Lake Chelan necessitated the evacuation of some hikers Saturday, according to a statement from the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office. 

The fire, which started early Saturday afternoon near Pioneer Creek, about 30 miles northwest of the city of Chelan, spread suddenly Sunday to 300 acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Because the area is inaccessible by road, the CCSO brought in Marine 1, a boat with a 15-passenger capacity, in response to a report that there were hikers in the area, one with injuries, according to the CCSO statement. The CCSO first picked up a group of seven hikers, then received another report of a 16-year-old hiker who had been separated from his family along the trail. That hiker was located shortly after along with two other hikers in need of medical assistance. All the hikers were transported to safety.

The fire is believed to have been caused by a structural fire that spread, according to the Washington Department of Natural Resources. An investigation into the cause is ongoing.

The Pioneer Fire was uncontained Monday, according to the NIFC, and suppression costs were estimated at $250,000. 

The 250-acre Rustlers Gulch Fire in southwestern Pend Oreille County was the only prescribed burn in Washington still going Monday, according to the NIFC.

These other fires were also burning Monday:

• The Rest Haven Fire, on the eastern outskirts of Yakima, had burned 45 acres since its discovery May 30. The fire was human-caused and containment and cost information was not available.

• The River View Fire, discovered Friday morning about 3 miles north of Yakima, was at 10 acres Monday. The fire was caused by human activity. Information about containment and cost was not available.

• The Stetson Fire, about 9 miles north of Yakima, was discovered May 19 and remained at 10 acres Monday. The blaze was human-caused, and containment and cost information was not available.

A few other fires are reported throughout the state but have burned less than 10 acres and are not included in this report. The majority are less than 1 acre.

Joel Martin may be reached by email at jmartin@columbiabasinherald.com.