'Eagle Fire' burning 5 miles northeast of Leavenworth

LEAVENWORTH -- About 120 federal, state and local firefighters were working late Monday to suppress a 40-acre wildfire burning on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest’s Wenatchee River Ranger District about five miles northeast of Leavenworth, the U.S. Forest Service said.

The Eagle Fire was detected at about 2 p.m. Monday and is burning near the top of a ridge between Eagle Creek and Bjork Canyon in timber and grass, east of the Chumstick Highway, it said. The cause is under investigation.

Westerly winds were pushing the fire mostly upslope in a northeasterly direction Monday afternoon, along Bjork Canyon and away from structures along Eagle Creek Road.

The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office had ordered a Level I evacuation notice for residents along Eagle Creek Road from milepost two east to where the pavement ends. A Level I evacuation means residents should prepare for an evacuation and stay alert for further information.

Fire managers are requesting the public avoid Eagle Creek Road for firefighter and public safety. Eagle Creek residents are asked to use Derby Canyon Road (Forest Service Road 7400) to exit the area.

On Monday afternoon, firefighting resources included an air tanker, two helicopters, six smoke-jumpers, four rappellers, five fire engines, a dozer and two 20-person crews. Additional resources were being ordered, including another bulldozer and other engines.

Firefighters involved in suppressing the fire on Monday were with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Forest Service, and Chelan County Fire District 3, 6 and 9.

Smoke from the fire was drifting mostly east Monday night, but was expected to settle in low areas such as Eagle Creek in the late evening and early morning hours. Fire managers advise nearby residents to close doors and windows to keep from entering structures.

Fire managers with federal, state and local agencies were thankful some nearby residents had worked closely with the Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition (http://www.chumstickcoalition.org/) to reduce forest fuels near residences to make it safer for firefighters to defend them.

“At times like this, the work of groups like the Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition can be instrumental in successful fire suppression,” said Public Information Officer Mick Mueller. “Residents who worked with the coalition are in a much better place.”