Fireworks may have caused Wenatchee wildfire, several homes evacuated

Photo credit: Cary Ulrich

WENATCHEE - Crews in Wenatchee are keeping a close eye on a wildfire that sparked up overnight. They’ve got it 90% contained, but the winds are picking up. So several homes remain under mandatory evacuation orders.

Fire crews first got the call about the fire on Skyline Drive around 2 AM Sunday morning.

“We were limited at that time, the only thing we were able to do was just set up for structure protection,” says Chelan County Fire Chief Mike Burnett. “The fire was climbing up the hill, we couldn't do anything until daylight when we had some helicopters and hand crews”

Those crews were able to get a perimeter around the fire, and keep it from destroying any buildings. But eight homes have still been evacuated. Some are just across the street from Stewart Kerr.

“It’s amazing how close the char is to some of these homes that are our neighbors here,” he says.

Kerr wasn’t home when this fire started. But he’s not surprised that crews think illegal fireworks may be to blame. He says he saw a lot of them on the Fourth of July.

“If you have one little bottle rocket that comes down or a sparkler, it's so dry that it's amazing to me that there have not been more fires this weekend here.”

Crews are worried that there will be more wildfires. They say it’s been an especially dry year, and it’s still early in the fire season.

“The relative humidity is really low, the temperatures are high, and we have the wind,” says Burnett. “Everything is just primed for fire conditions.”

Kerr is glad crews almost have full control of this fire. He’s hoping no more get so close to his home.

“For what it's worth, I’m actually glad it charred now. Because at least this area isn't going to get hit again this year. But it is an incredibly dry year. We need rain.”