Spromberg Fire now 93% contained - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Spromberg Fire now 93% contained

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5-26-17 UPDATE:

LEAVENWORTH, WA - There were no significant changes to report overnight on the Spromberg Fire.  No further growth of the fire is expected. Current containment is estimated at 93%.

Operations today will focus on continuing to cool the Spromberg log deck. The smoldering log deck remains a unique challenge due to the volume of timber that was stored on site. WA State Department of Natural Resources, Chelan Fire District #3, Chelan County, Fire Mobilization resources, and the outside agencies brought in to support the effort are continuing to work hard at ensuring the log pile is fully controlled and poses no risk of future spread.  As this effort continues, the number and type of resources assigned to the fire will continue to evolve.  Two excavators have been requested to allow firefighters to access the deep rooted hotspots within. Approximately 50 personnel are now assigned to the fire. It is expected that the effort to extinguish the pile will take some time to come.

All Level 3 evacuations have been lifted as of 7:00pm on Thursday, May 25. Spromberg Canyon has been changed to a Level 2, and evacuation levels have been lifted for all other areas. The Chumstick highway is reopened, with reduced speeds in place through the impacted area. Drivers are asked to use extreme care and to slow down when approaching fire response vehicles. For current information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/Chelan-County-Emergency-Management-188543097925415/

Please be mindful with any activity that can generate sparks this holiday weekend. 


5-25-17 UPDATE:

LEAVENWORTH, WA - The third day of operations on the Spromberg Fire along the Chumstick Highway north of Leavenworth has brought lower winds, improved visibility, and a sense of optimism to those tasked with fighting the blaze. 

Measuring 42 acres, the fire is approximately 78% contained as of 10:00am on Thursday. Crews assigned to monitor the fire overnight noted minimal nighttime fire activity, and it is not expected that there will be significant growth of the fire perimeter going forward. 42 acres should remain the extent of the fire. 

Roughly 130 fire fighters are engaged in daytime fire operations, establishing containment around the perimeter, and continuing to work at fully extinguishing the flames in the large log pile where the fire began. 

Level 3 evacuation orders for the Spromberg Canyon remain in place. Traffic is limited to residents and legitimate business through the impacted areas of the Chumstick Highway. Reduced speed limits are in effect, and drivers are urged to use extreme care and caution. It is anticipated that evacuation status will be adjusted later in the day on Thursday. For the most current updates, go to:  https://www.facebook.com/Chelan-County-Emergency-Management-188543097925415/

It is expected that some fire personnel will begin going home before the start of the holiday weekend. Final mop up will likely take a few more days, and it could be some time beyond that until the log pile is fully extinguished. Residents and visitors in the Chumstick corridor should expect to see smoke and minor signs of fire as fuels continue to burn in the log pile and the controlled area amid the rugged terrain to the east.

Chelan Fire District 3 Chief Kelly O'Brien took a moment to express his gratitude to the numerous responders who have supported the effort to date, "This has been a remarkable early season effort between a number of agencies. We were able to keep this from becoming a larger fire, and it's important to highlight the incredible effort that went into doing so. On behalf of the Leavenworth community, I want to thank those who so willingly pitched in to support us, including the hard working fire fighters from our own agency."

There have been no impacts to the Leavenworth proper, and none are expected. In the words of Nancy Smith, President of the Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce,  "Leavenworth is fully open for business and we're looking forward to a sunny and busy holiday weekend."

Christopher Hutsell, the Incident Commander for the Northwest Incident Management Team brought in to help manage the fire echoed Chief O'Brien's comments, "It's been a team effort, and I want to highlight the work done by Chief O'Brien's people, in addition to the work put in by Washington DNR, the US Forest Service, and the other local Chelan and Douglas County fire districts. It was a great response to a very challenging situation. Those of us who have come from across Washington to help out really appreciate the good work and welcoming community.

While to date this fire has not led to any serious injuries, or damage to homes, it's been an impactful event, and is a crucial reminder of the danger fires can pose in our communities. Taking steps now to mitigate fire risk and prepare for the possibility of fire can go a long way towards ensuring a safe and fire free summer season. 


5-24-17 UPDATE:

LEAVENWORTH, WA - The biggest fire of the season so far is still burning in Chelan County near Leavenworth. Reporter Veronica Padilla was there today and learned that firefighters are continuing to make progress knocking down the Spromberg Canyon fire burning about 3.5 miles north of Leavenworth.

The fire still officially stands at 40 acres.

Officials say the fire did spread overnight but they are assessing to see just how much. Containment is now up to 50 percent.

Meanwhile, the wind is big concern for crews. Several spot fires have sparked across the highway and up the mountain because of the erratic winds. But that's not the only factor that makes the fire hard to put out.

"Because there's no hydrant service where this fire is located, we have to shuttle water to it," said Annie Schmidt with Chelan County Fire District 3. "That means it's not just transporting crews to the fire and then bringing them home, that means a continual transport of water on this road."

The people who live in about 150 homes that were evacuated are now returning home, but the Chumstick Highway is still shut down at Eagle Creek Road.

What caused this wildfire is now under investigation, and if there is any bright side, it's that no one has been hurt and no structures have been lost.


LEAVENWORTH, WA - Update 8:25 p.m.:  State fire assistance has been mobilized under the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan in support of local firefighters working to contain the Spromberg Fire located Chelan County, 3 miles north of Leavenworth near the intersection of Chumstick Hwy and Spromberg Canyon Road. The fire is burning in downed timber, brush and standing timber.  Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources on May 23, 2017, at 4:45 pm at the request of Chief Kelly O'Brien, Chelan County Fire District 3.

The fire started on May 23, 2017 at approximately 1:00 pm, and the cause is currently under investigation.  The Spromberg Fire is estimated at 40 acres and growing.  The fire is threatening homes, timber, and electrical infrastructure. Level 1 and 3 evacuation notifications are in place.

Mobilization specialists from the Fire Protection Bureau have ordered five wildland strike teams, two twenty person handcrews, and a Type 3 Incident Management Team.

The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Camp Murray has been activated to Level 2 to coordinate state assistance for the Spromberg Fire.  State Fire Marshal personnel are in route to the scene to coordinate dispatch of resources.

Under the State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan, the Fire Protection Bureau coordinates the initial dispatch and continued administrative oversight of resources and personnel for the duration of the incident.  The Mobilization Plan is implemented to provide a process to quickly notify, assemble and deploy fire service personnel, equipment and other resources from around the state when fires, disasters or other events exceed the capacity of local jurisdictions.  More information about the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan is available at:  www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/mobilization.htm
Update: 6:15 p.m.: Washington Emergency Management says fire mobilization for a wildfire near Leavenworth has been approved. About 168 homes and cabins in the area of the fire are under level three evacuation. 
Update 4:40 p.m.: Chelan fire crews say the Spromberg Canyon fire has grown to approximately 40 acres as of Tuesday afternoon. Level 3 evacuations remain in place from Sunitsch Canyon to Eagle Creek and all Spromberg Canyon. Spotting remains a concern. Crews say fire has spotted across Chumstick Highway, adjacent from Spromberg Canyon.
Update 4:15 p.m.: Chelan County fire crews say the cause of a brush fire near Leavenworth remains under investigation. As of Tuesday afternoon the fire is holding at 5 acres in size and fire spotting remains a primary concern for firefighters.

Approximately 200 firefighters are responding to the fire and they have one helicopter fighting the blaze from the air.
Previous Coverage: A 5-acre brush fire burning north of Leavenworth has triggered evacuation notices in Chelan County Tuesday afternoon.

Chelan County Emergency Management  and Chumstick Wildfire Coalition reports reports there are level three evacuation notices in place for Spromberg Canyon and level one evacuation notices in place from Sunitsch Canyon to Leavenworth.
As a reminder, level 1 evacuations mean residents in the area should be aware of a fire burning in the are. Level 2 evacuations mean residents should be ready to leave at a moment's notice. Level 3 evacuation notices mean residents in the area should leave immediately.

The fire size has been confirmed at 5 acres and is primarily confined to the Brender log yard on the Leavenworth side of Spromberg Canyon Road.

 Additional details were not immediately available. We will update this story as we learn more.