Mills Canyon Fire: 109 homes evacuated


by KING 5 News and Associated Press

Posted on July 10, 2014 at 5:58 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 10 at 10:32 AM

ENTIAT, Wash. - Fire bosses have lowered the estimated size of a wildfire burning west of Entiat which has jumped over U.S. Highway 97A.

The new size of the Mills Canyon Fire was at 6,171 acres Thursday morning, down from 7,000 acres. A fire official said the earlier number was a Department of Natural Resources estimate.

There are 109 residences under a mandatory Level 3 evacuation and another 109 under a Level 2 evacuation, which means residents should be ready to head out.

Just over 400 firefighters are battling the fire Thursday, up from 250 on Wednesday.

A 30-mile stretch of US-97A is now closed from Wenatchee at milepost 201 to milepost 230.5 south of Chelan. Motorists going between Wenatchee and Chelan can use U.S. 2 on the east side of the Columbia River.

Drivers were also advised to use US-97 via Orondo, though Chelan County officials say visibility is bad due to thick smoke and advise motorists to drive slow. 

A house fire Tuesday started the wildfire in the Mills Canyon area which quickly spread to about 8 square miles. Fire spokesman Mick Mueller says about 250 firefighters were aided by air tankers dropping retardant and helicopters dropping water; the fire remains zero-percent contained.

Interactive: Build a wildfire defensible zone around your home

Fire evacuation levels (Source: Chelan County Fire Dist. 1)

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.

Other fires burning in Washington:

  • Rock Hill Fire: Douglas County. 2,200 acres. Should be 100 percent contained by Friday.
  • Trinidad Fire: Near Quincy along Highway 28. 800 acres. 10 percent contained
  • Palisades Flats Fire: 25 miles east of Wenatchee. 100 acres.
  • Lake Spokane Fire: South of Springdale. 890 acres.
  • Near Bridgeport: 400 acres. Seven homes on Level 2 evacuation.


Rock Hill Fire doubles

Another fire at Rock Hill almost doubled in size Tuesday, growing from 1,500 acres to over 2,400 acres. But crews now have the fire 70 percent contained, up from 40 percent earlier in the day.

The Douglas County fire has destroyed two mobile homes and eight outbuildings. 30 homes are still threatened.

The area is under Level 1 and Level 2 evacuations.

The Southeast Washington Interagency hopes to have the the fire contained by Friday.

Wildfire in Grant County

A new wildfire was reported about seven miles from Quncy along Highway 28 Wednesday.

A Grant County fire spokesman said the 800-acre fire started around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. It was about 10 percent contained and there were no reports of injuries, but some structures could be threatened.

The cause was not immediately reported.