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News / Northwest

Fire season continues across Washington

By Joel Martin, Columbia Basin Herald
Published: September 18, 2023, 7:36am

MOSES LAKE — Fire season isn’t letting up despite the end of summer approaching.

The Cowlitz Complex fires in Gifford Pinchot National Forest between Mount Rainier and the Columbia River were 32 percent contained Saturday at 684 acres, according to the Forest Service. Aircraft were dropping water over the Grassy Mountain, Snagtooth and Spencer Quartz fires, which were some of the largest and most difficult to access. A total of 328 personnel were working on the fires. Costs were estimated at $10 million.

These fires were also burning Saturday, according to data from the National Interagency Fire Center:

  • Tenas Creek: This fire, in the North Cascades about 40 miles east of Mount Vernon, was discovered Friday afternoon and had burned 30 acres Saturday. Cost and containment information was not available
  • Roza Slope: This fire about 8 miles north of Selah was 100 percent contained at 217 acres Saturday. Costs were estimated at $1.5 million. It was discovered Sept. 12.
  • South Slope: Discovered Sept. 12 about 6 miles north of Selah, this fire was 90 percent contained at 341 acres Saturday. Costs were estimated at $1.5 million.
  • Diamond Mountain: This fire about 25 miles south of Port Angeles was discovered Sept. 1 and had spread to 30 acres Saturday. The cause was determined to be natural. It was uncontained and costs were estimated at $10,000.
  • Blue Lake: This blaze about 53 miles west of Omak was 80 percent contained Saturday, but its reported area had been downgraded to 530 acres. Costs were estimated at $5.75 million. It was discovered July 29.
  • Eagle Bluff: This fire, southwest of Oroville near the Canadian border, has burned 16,428 acres. The fire has cost about $9.9 million and was fully contained Saturday. The cause of the fire is unknown.
  • Sourdough: Burning in the Ross Lake National Recreation Area in the north Cascades since July 29, it was 25 percent contained Saturday at 6,369 acres. Costs are estimated at $24 million.
  • Low Divide: This fire in the Olympic National Forest was discovered Sept. 1 and had grown to 92 acres Saturday. It was uncontained and costs were estimated at $125,000. The cause was determined to be natural.
  • Martin Lake: This fire in the Olympic National Forest was discovered Sept. 1 and was at 30 acres Saturday. It was uncontained and costs were estimated at $50,000.
  • Eagle Point: Discovered Aug. 29 about 12 miles south of Port Angeles, this fire had grown to 128 acres Saturday. It was still uncontained and costs were estimated at $100,000.
  • Oregon Road: This fire discovered Aug. 18 about 31 miles north of Spokane was still 99 percent contained at 10,817 acres Saturday. Costs are estimated at $14.2 million.
  • Salmo Basin: This fire, on the Canadian border 55 miles north of Newport, remained at 75 acres Saturday. The blaze was discovered July 30. Containment information was not available. Costs are estimated at $500,000.
  • Yellepit: This fire, discovered Sept. 1 about 14 miles southeast of Kennewick on the Columbia River, has burned 1,582 acres. It was 100 percent contained Saturday and costs were estimated at $100,000.
  • Dome Peak: This fire, located northeast of the Mt. Baker National Forest, was still uncontained as of Saturday and was holding steady at 1,076 acres. The fire was reported July 29. Costs were estimated at $100,000.
  • Lake Whatcom: Discovered Aug. 28 about 9 miles southeast of Bellingham, this fire was 100 percent contained at 40 acres Saturday. Costs were estimated at $850,000.
  • Kindy Creek: Discovered Aug. 18 in the mountains above Lake Chelan about 75 miles northwest of Wenatchee, this blaze was still at 197 acres Saturday. It was uncontained and costs were estimated at $90,000.
  • Airplane Lake: This blaze about 53 miles northwest of Wenatchee remained at 5,160 acres Saturday and costs are estimated at $500,000. It is reported as uncontained and no cause has been identified. It was discovered July 7.
  • Chocolate Creek: This blaze about 58 miles northwest of Wenatchee was still uncontained Saturday at 15 acres. Costs were estimated at $90,000.
  • Gray: Discovered Aug. 18 about 17 miles west of Spokane, it was 99 percent contained at 10,085 acres Saturday. The fire was determined to be caused by human activity and costs were estimated at $10.4 million.
  • Toothaker: 300 acres burned about 8 miles southeast of Kennewick. The fire was discovered Aug. 17. It was still 100 percent contained Saturday with costs estimated at $350,000.
  • Consalus Incident: Around 475 acres burned near the Idaho border due east of the Little Oreille National Wildlife Refuge. The fire has cost about $12 million and was 100 percent contained Saturday. Authorities report that the cause of the fire is natural.

Several other fires are reported throughout the state but have burned less than 10 acres and are not included in this report. The majority are less than 1 acre.

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