Rain, Cooler Temperatures Help Firefighters Gain On Blazes

DRYDEN, Wash. (AP) -- Aided by cooler temperatures and lighter winds, crews continued to widen lines around the 16,400-acre Fischer fire.

The fire, burning northwest of Wenatchee in central Washington, was considered 90 percent contained Monday night.

Fire bosses have begun releasing crews, spokesman Glen Bell said earlier in the day.

Rain last weekend allowed firefighters to widen a 36-mile-long fire line, and more light rain was expected Tuesday, he said.

After weeks in the 90s, daytime temperatures dropped into the 60s, winds were calm and humidity remained high, Bell said.

Residents are still going to see smoke and flare-ups within the fire perimeter, Bell said.

``The fire is not going to be out until the first snowfall or significant rain,'' he said.

Residents of about 300 homes were allowed to return Sunday and weather conditions Monday allowed authorities to lessen evacuation alerts at several major fires.

The Chelan County Sheriff's Office dropped an evacuation advisory to the lowest level for the communities of Holden Village, Lucerne and Domke.

The Deep Harbor Fire, part of the Pot Peak-Sisi Ridge complex of three fires, no longer was an immediate threat, spokesman Patrick Lonergan said in a release.

The fires have blackened 47,470 acres near Lake Chelan, and were about 85 percent contained.

The Williams Butte fire, just inside the Sawtooth Wilderness 17 miles northwest of Twisp, was 85 percent contained at about 1,250 acres Monday night, according to the Northwest Interagency Fire Center in Portland, Ore.

A complex of four fires about 20 miles southeast of Tonasket was fully contained Monday after blackening 444 acres.

Containment of the Dirty Face Peak fire north of Lake Wenatchee was expected soon. That blaze, estimated at 295 acres, scorched heavy brush and timber in very steep terrain.