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News / Northwest

Rain stops Cowlitz Complex fire growth

By Joel Martin, Columbia Basin Herald
Published: September 28, 2023, 7:35am

MOSES LAKE — As much as 3 inches of rain fell on the Cowlitz Complex fires in the Cascades on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The 30-fire complex, which has been burning since Aug. 25 in the Cascades between Mount Rainier and the Columbia River, has been showing little to no activity since the rain began, although the Grassy Mountain fire was still producing a small amount of smoke. The complex was 39% contained Wednesday at 731 acres. Cost estimates had risen to $18.3 million.

Fire danger remains high over most of central and eastern Washington despite the cooler, wetter weather, according to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Air quality was good for the Columbia Basin on Wednesday, with air quality indices ranging from two in Coulee City Dam to 14 in Moses Lake. An AQI of 50 or less is considered good.

These fires were burning Wednesday in Washington, according to data from the National Interagency Fire Center:

  • Airplane Lake: This blaze about 53 miles northwest of Wenatchee held steady at 6,956 acres Wednesday and costs are estimated at $500,000. It is still 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 Wednesday, and held steady at 38 acres. Costs were estimated at $90,000.
  • Delabarre: This fire in Olympic National Park held steady at 3,658 acres Wednesday and was still uncontained. Estimated costs were $5 million. The fire was discovered Sept. 1.
  • Diamond Mountain: This fire about 25 miles south of Port Angeles was discovered Sept. 1 and remained at 30 acres Wednesday. The cause was determined to be natural. It was uncontained and costs were estimated at $10,000.
  • Dome Peak: This fire, located in the Mt. Baker National Forest, was still uncontained as of Wednesday and had burned 1,477 acres. The fire was reported July 29. Costs were estimated at $100,000.
  • 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 Wednesday. The cause is unknown.
  • Eagle Point: Discovered Aug. 29 about 12 miles south of Port Angeles, this fire was still uncontained at 128 acres Wednesday. Costs were estimated at $100,000.
  • Evans Road: This fire discovered Sept. 22 held steady at 11 acres Wednesday about 26 miles northeast of Longview. Cost and containment information was not available.
  • Kindy Creek: Discovered Aug. 18 in the Cascades above Lake Chelan about 75 miles northwest of Wenatchee, this blaze remained at 210 acres Wednesday. It was uncontained and costs were estimated at $90,000.
  • Low Divide: This fire in the Olympic National Forest was discovered Sept. 1 and remained at 312 acres Wednesday. 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 still at 108 acres Wednesday. It was uncontained and costs were estimated at $50,000.
  • Sourdough: Burning in the Ross Lake National Recreation Area in the north Cascades since July 29, it was still 25% contained Wednesday at 7,377 acres. Costs are estimated at $24 million.
  • Yellepit: This fire, discovered Sept. 1 about 14 miles southeast of Kennewick on the Columbia River, has burned 1,582 acres. It was 100% contained Wednesday and costs were estimated at $100,000.
  • Several other fires are reported throughout the state but have burned less than 10 acres and are not included in this report.
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