A message from the Fire Chief:
The Wolverine Fire has come up over the Entiat Ridge and is working into the Entiat drainage, putting it in a position to potentially move on into the Chiwawa River drainage. In recognition of that possibility, Trinity has been evacuated and the Trinity Road (Chiwawa River Road) beyond Goose Creek has been closed with hikers and campers being evacuated from the area. Weather forecasts for the next several days are not favorable and include Red Flag warnings, high temps, low humidity, increasing winds and possibly some lightning. Smoke conditions are not expected to improve significantly. The photo above is of the Wolverine fire plume taken from Lake Wenatchee 8-24-15.
It’s time to acknowledge that we might be facing a challenge here in the entire Chiwawa, Lake Wenatchee, Plain and Ponderosa area. We do have an advantage, however, that other areas that suffered greatly last year and this year did not have- we have time to prepare. This message is not intended to create fear or panic but to provide an honest acknowledgment of the possible situation we might be facing. The following suggestions are in case this fire approaches even closer:
Evacuation orders are issued as Level 1, 2 and 3 with Level 3 being “Get out, Now”. This message is intended as a precursor to a Level 1 situation- a chance to do some things that you might not have time to do in the event of an evacuation of any level.
- If you have boats, trailers, RV’s, snowmobiles, large animals, etc, consider moving them beforehand to another area. In the event of evacuation orders being issued, our access/egress roads are very limited and could quickly become congested with evacuation traffic as well as firefighting apparatus.
- Move flammable patio and deck furniture away from the house or inside- embers can easily ignite these items.
- Move any firewood or other fuels stacked near the house or out-buildings away from the building.
- Create defensible spaces around your home and other buildings. Irrigated lawns are helpful but beauty bark or mulch in flower beds next to the house is a very real threat.
- Limb trees up so ground fire cannot use the tree as a ladder to carry fire into tree tops but remain mindful that chain saw use is now prohibited.
- Photograph the exterior and interior of your buildings, including pictures of drawer and cabinet contents, etc. These photographs could prove very valuable in the event insurance claims prove necessary.
- Consider what you would want to take with you in the event of a rushed evacuation- family photo albums, legal documents, prescription medications, pet food, jewelry, computers or flash drives with your documents, etc. Collect these items and perhaps even have them in your car ready to go.
- Be prepared for extended power outages with drinking water, non-perishable food items and fuel for generators.
- Have a family meeting and prepare a plan including where family members are to meet in the event of evacuation, what is to be done in the absence of particular family members, etc. Remember- cell phone or telephone coverage may well be interrupted but will undoubtedly be overtaxed and perhaps not reliable.
- Stay informed of the status of this fire. Updates will be posted on this website but other excellent sources are the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management website at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chelan-County-Emergency-Management/188543097925415?ref=hl ; the Wenatchee World website at http://www.wenatcheeworld.com/ , the KPQ radio website at http://www.kpq.com/ and the Wenatchee National Forest site at http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/okawen/alerts-notices
Remain aware that ALL outdoor burning including campfires, cooking fires, slash burns, fireworks and barbeques utilizing charcoal briquettes are prohibited and the fire department and/or Sheriff will respond to reports of violators. ALL use of chainsaws and other logging operations are prohibited. Flames and smoke columns from fires of concern to us will most likely not be visible to us so do not be deceived into thinking this fire is not a threat until it is in your yard.
Your fire department is preparing contingency plans for something we hope will not happen here and may well not but we encourage you to be prepared also.
Mick Lamar, Chief
Lake Wenatchee Fire and Rescue