CHELAN COUNTY, Wash. -- A wildfire south of Wenatchee spread rapidly and was threatening the communities of Malaga, Kingsbury, Wenatchee Heights and Stemilt.
The 5,200-acre Milepost 10 fire is also threatening high voltage transmission lines, a natural gas pipeline, and a communications site.
The fire spread rapidly on Saturday despite efforts by Chelan County Fire District 1, Washington Department of Natural Resources, and other responding fire services, including aircraft and engines from the nearby Colockum Tarps Fire.
About 80 residences received Level 3 Evacuation Notification and other areas are under Level 2.
"Last night it was completely insane," said John Marshall "It was just a huge line just coming down the mountain."
"We were out here watching it. We had fire trucks over at my sisters place and they were watching it over there," said Liz Gilliardie.
The Chelan County Sheriff’s office has posted road closed signs at Joe Miller, Jumpoff, and on private roads in the area. There will be roving patrols only residents are allowed beyond the closures.
The fire was initially reported at about 11 p.m. Friday, sparked by lightning.
A public meeting is being organized for Monday evening. Information will be posted on www.inciweb.org/incident/3623 as soon as details have been finalized.
Friday night's lightning storm sparked dozens of new fires. Kittitas County Fire District No. 7 reported 20,000+ lightning strikes and 60+ fire starts in a 24-hour period.
Thunderstorms with heavy rainfall were in the forecast Sunday afternoon through evening.
A flash flood watch was in effect for areas of north central Washington, including Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties.
The National Weather Service said recent wildfire scars south of Wenatchee and along Lake Chelan could produce mud slides or dangerous debris flows.