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Canyon Creek Fire grows to 1,000 acres, causing Level 2 and 3 evacuations and destroying at least one structure

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(All photos courtesy of Methow Valley News)

There is a wildland fire called the Canyon Creek Fire that began on Saturday, July 15, 2017, just east of Carlton in Okanogan County. The fire was first reported at 12:18 p.m. and was reported to be one mile north of Carlton near Mile Post 23.75 on the east side of roadway.

The fire crossed SR 153 and the Methow River near Ross Road, burnt north to just past Taylor Road near Mile Post 26 and to the east. The road was closed and PUD cut power to the area.

Through Saturday afternoon and evening the fire increased to at least 1,000 acres in size, while fire crews from multiple agencies responded. The Methow Valley News reported yesterday that an air attack team was assisting, including three helicopters involved and a heavy air tanker that was also engaged. Level 2 and Level 3 evacuations went into effect for several areas, and the Red Cross set up two evacuation centers, one in Twisp and one in Brewster.

The cause of the fire has not been specifically reported yet, but GoLakeChelan.com will continue to provide updates as we receive them.

(Photo courtesy of Methow Valley News)

**Below is a timeline of events and more detailed information reported by Okanogan County Emergency Management.

Okanogan County Emergency Management Reports – July 15, 2017

At 1:25 p.m.

Wildland Fire Reported: People should be aware of a wildland fire in the area of Vinten Road and Texas Creek, just east of Carlton. People should be prepared evacuate. Be aware of your surroundings. Do not wait to be told to evacuate and take action if needed.

At 1:55 p.m.

CANYON CREEK FIRE UPDATE: The Canyon Creek fire is just north east of Carlton and is estimated to be at 20 acres. PUD is shutting down electric power from Twisp to Libby Creek, with an estimated time of 45 minutes to an hour to until they can isolate the area. SR 153 is closed between Carlton and SR 20. (Local Traffic only.) People are asked to remain clear of the area.

At 3:18 p.m.

CANYON CREEK FIRE UPDATE: The fire has jumped the Methow River at 228 Twisp Carlton Road.
People should be aware of there surroundings and evacuate if needed. If you need to evacuate, travel towards Twisp if north of Carlton and towards Pateros if south of Carlton.

At 5:26 p.m.

CANYON CREEK FIRE UPDATE: All should be aware of a fast moving wild land fire in the Carlton area. Level 3 evacuations (EVACUATE NOW) have been issued for the area of Carlton to Bensen Creek and Carlton up Texas Creek. Level 2 evacuation (BE PREPARED TO EVACUATE) from Bensen Creek to Lower Beaver Creek. People should be aware of their surroundings. Do not wait for door to door notifications to evacuate. If north of Carlton Evacuate towards Twisp. If south of Carlton evacuate towards Pateros.

(Photo courtesy of Methow Valley News)

At 6:30 p.m. 

EVACUATION SHELTERS: Red Cross has opened to two Evacuation Shelters at the Twisp Community Center and the Brewster High School. People affected by the Canyon Creek Fire can contact the Red Cross at those locations.

At 7:30 p.m.

State Mobilization was approved.

At 9:00 p.m.

The fire is estimated to be 1000 acres, with one abandoned house destroyed.

(Photo courtesy of Methow Valley News)

At 10:00 p.m.

An in-brief meeting was held at the Liberty Bell School for South East Washington Team #1, which will be taking command of the fire at 6:00 a.m. on July 16, 2017.

SR 153 remains closed (local traffic only) at Lower Beaver Creek and the intersection of the Twisp/Carlton Road just south of Carlton. It is closed due to fire personnel and equipment on the roadway along with tree snags next to the road. Snags are planned on being cleared in the morning. WSDOT is manning the closure.

Level 3 evacuations still in place from Carlton to Benson Creek and Carlton up Texas Creek. Level 2 evacuations are still in place from Benson Creek to Lower Beaver Creek. Fire personnel will reevaluate on Sunday.

PUD turned off electric power from Twisp to Libby Creek due to burning power poles and downed lines. Power was isolated and restored to most users. The burnt poles are planned to be replaced in daylight hours on Sunday, July 16. This was a quick response from PUD.

Red Cross set up two evacuation shelters, one at the Twisp Community Center and the other at the Brewster High School. This was a quick response from the Red Cross.

The National Weather Service in Spokane is forecasting temperatures to be cooler tomorrow with winds out of the North and Northwest 6 to 11 mph.

THIS FIRE IS STILL ACTIVE. People should remain aware of their surroundings and have an evacuation plan if needed.

(Photo courtesy of Methow Valley News)

State Fire Mobilization Authorized for Canyon Creek Fire

State fire assistance has been mobilized under the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan in support of local firefighters working to contain the Canyon Creek Fire located near the town of Carlton in Okanogan County.  The fire is burning in grass, brush and timber.  Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources on July 15, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. at the request of Fire Chief Cody Accord, Okanogan County Fire District 6.

The fire started on July 15, 2017, at approximately 12:28 pm, and the cause is under investigation. The Canyon Creek Fire is estimated at 300-500 acres and growing. The fire is threatening structures, crops, and infrastructure in the area. Level 2 and 3 are currently in effect.

Mobilization specialists from the Fire Protection Bureau have ordered 4 strike teams. The fire will be managed by a Type 3 Incident Management Team.

The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Camp Murray is activated to a Level 2 to coordinate state assistance for the Canyon Creek Fire.  State Fire Marshal personnel will be on scene to coordinate dispatch of resources.

Under the State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan, the Fire Protection Bureau coordinates the initial dispatch and continued administrative oversight of resources and personnel for the duration of the incident.  The Mobilization Plan is implemented to provide a process to quickly notify, assemble and deploy fire service personnel, equipment and other resources from around the state when fires, disasters or other events exceed the capacity of local jurisdictions.  More information about the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan is available at:  www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/mobilization.htm.

(Photo courtesy of Methow Valley News)

(Compiled by Christine Eagar)

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