Fire Near More Than 100 Homes Near Lake Wenatchee, Washington

A wildfire burning close to scores of homes near Lake Wenatchee calmed down a little overnight because expected winds did not materialize, officials said.


WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) -- A wildfire burning close to scores of homes near Lake Wenatchee calmed down a little overnight because expected winds did not materialize, officials said.

The fire has burned more than 500 acres on the southern face of Dirtyface Mountain in Chelan County, U.S. Forest Service and State Patrol officials said.

The blaze started late Saturday evening as a structure fire on private land before spreading to state-protected land and finally parts of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Forest Service spokeswoman Robin DeMario said.

The patrol said there were about 140 homes in the area, along the Lake Wenatchee Highway. The structures were down the mountain from the fire's front and could be threatened if the fire spreads toward the highway, DeMario said.

''If the fire remains midslope and goes up to the top of the slope, there are no homes in that area,'' DeMario said.

The blaze was on extremely steep terrain, in timber, grass and brush. Firefighters were using hiking trails to help build fire lines, and helicopters and air tankers were dropping water and retardant on the scene, DeMario said.

Hot temperatures were expected again Monday, along with the possibility of some wind from a frontal system moving in off the coast.

''There's a possibility that frontal movement may cause some winds but I'm just not sure how far south that system is going to reach,'' DeMario said.

No evacuations were ordered Monday morning. Engines aimed at protecting the structures began arriving overnight. No structures had been damaged or people injured as of Monday morning.

More than 100 people were working on the fire Monday, and officials expected more to arrive through the day.

A combined state and federal team took over management of the fire Monday morning, DeMario said.