Firefighters Make Progress on Washington Fires


Firefighters continued to increase containment Saturday on wildfires burning in Eastern and Central Washington.

The Williams Lake fire near Cheney burned 1,868 acres as of Saturday night and containment swelled from 0% to 40% from Friday to Saturday, according to Eric Keller, spokesman at Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

Keller estimated the fire would remain around 40 % containment Sunday and expects the fire to be out sometime in the new week. About 300 firefighters are conducting suppression and mop-up efforts, he said.

Keller said Level 3 evacuations were downgraded to Level 2 at 8 p.m. Friday. He said Level 2 evacuations, which means residents should be prepared to leave, will probably remain until the fire is extinguished.

The Lind fire, which burned homes on the southern edge of the small town Thursday, burned 2,500 acres and was 100% contained, according to Thomas Kyle-Milward, spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources. Crews continued to monitor the area Saturday.

Kyle-Milward said the Riparia fire, burning 22 miles north of Dayton in southeastern Washington, was 0% contained and burning 5,000 acres Saturday night. An unknown number of structures were threatened and evacuations were issued for some residents, he said.

The Vantage Highway fire burning about 5 miles west of Vantage increased about 1,000 acres to 31,000 Saturday night, said Joel Brumm, spokesman for the Type 2 incident management team. Containment of that fire also spiked to 60%, up from 21% Friday.

The Cow Canyon fire, about 13 miles southwest of Ellensburg, reduced in size about 1,000 acres to 4,633 and increased from 0% to 20% containment from Friday to Saturday, Brumm said.