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Relatively calm day for North Star Fire, but the wind is shifting

 

Scott Hunter

Waiting for action, a supply of Gatorade at the Nespelem Community Center is topped with fire maps.

The North Star Fire grew by only a few thousand acres today to a little over 78,000, reported lead Public Information Officer Iris Estes, just coming out of an end-of-day briefing about 9 p.m. tonight at the Nespelem Community Center.

With 331 personnel now working the fire, the fight has gained priority on a national list, and the state mobilized it yesterday; it's in the pool for shared and shifting resources, coordinated through the the state's Emergency Operation's Center. Today more people and equipment rolled in.

Lead fire fighters here seem tired, but more than that, uneasy. They have a plan for quickly waking up everyone in the camp with sirens if the fire blows up during the night. They would gather everyone in the center to regroup.

The wind has already turned around from its earlier northward path that kept the air close to the ground clear about dusk. A wind event will start about 11 tonight. It will come from the northwest and blow the fire toward Nespelem, they just don't know how hard.

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