Chiwaukum Creek fire grows in central Washington - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Chiwaukum Creek fire grows in central Washington

Posted: Updated:
LEAVENWORTH, Wash. -

UPDATE:

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Driven by scorching hot temperatures and strong winds, a new central Washington wildfire is threatening hundreds of homes and sending up a towering column of smoke.

The Chiwaukum Creek fire about 10 miles north of Leavenworth had raced across more than 1,200 acres by Wednesday evening and prompted the closure of a 15-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 2.

A Chelan County emergency management spokeswoman says as many as 400 people have been told to leave their homes or cabins and another 800 homes are threatened.

A state of emergency has been declared in 20 eastern Washington counties because of multiple wildfires and temperatures in triple digits. The declaration allows state officials to call up the Washington National Guard. It also directs state agencies to help local governments respond to wildfires.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

PREVIOUS STORY: A fire reported by an aerial observer grew from 1/10th of an acre to 500 acres within a span of a few hours on Tuesday.The fire is being called the "Chiwaukum Creek Fire" and is located about ten miles north of Leavenworth. The exact acreage is hard to determine due to the smokey conditions, but current estimates sit at around 500 acres. 

Right now there are Level 3 evacuations for the Chiwaukum Creek Drainage and Coulter Creek area. There are also Level 2 evacuations at the Tumwater Campground.

Evacuation Levels defined:


Level 1 evacuations are an alert. Residents should be aware of the danger that exists, and monitor local media outlets for information. Residents with special needs, or those with pets or livestock, should take note and make preparations for relocating family members, pets, and livestock.

Level 2 evacuations indicate there is a significant risk to your area, and residents should either voluntarily relocate to a shelter or with family/friends outside of the area, or, be ready to leave at a moments notice.

Level 3 means danger is currently affecting your area or is imminent, and you should leave immediately.

The cause has not yet been determined. 
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