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Making progress on fires


One Central Washington fire has been put out and firefighters are making progress on two others, officials reported Friday.

Crews mopped up the Highland Fire, just east of Bridgeport early Friday. Two strike teams that were preparing to leave assisted Douglas County firemen. This fire started last Wednesday and didn’t damage any structures.

The fire was managed by the Spokane County Management team.

A 240-acre fire near 25-mile Creek on the south shore of Lake Chelan was reported 90% contained Sunday.

Kari Grover-Wier, Chelan District Ranger, said that 120 firefighters secure firelines and mop up hot spots. Fire officials stated that due to high temperatures the safety of those fighting the blaze was a prime issue.

The fire started about 2:30 p.m. last Thursday. The evacuation alert was dropped from a level 3 to a level one, by fire officials. A level 3 means that people are to leave immediately and a level one means an alert is in effect.

The largest fire in the state, the Mills Canyon blaze, near Entiat, was only 25% contained Sunday.

There were 1,041 people assigned to the blaze burning in grass, brush and scattered timber on steep, rocky terrain.

Officials were concerned about instances where burning material on the north side of Swakane Canyon was rolling down the hill and igniting spot fires. Preventing fire from crossing the Swakane Canyon is viewed by officials as a critical link in averting a potentially devastating run southward.

Fifty-one structures fell under the level 2 alert and 37 under level 3 alert.

The Red Cross was operating a temporary shelter for those displaced by the fire in the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Wenatchee.

Firemen made significant progress Saturday but the fear of thunderstorms Sunday and Monday raised the awareness of personnel.

Pacific Northwest Interagency Management Team 3 assumed command of the firefighting effort Sunday.

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