Deadly wildfire in north-central Washington grows to more than 188,000 acres


The deadly Cold Springs Fire is about 50% contained after burning an estimated 188,852 acres in north-central Washington, the Northeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team (IMT) said Monday.

The fire started on Sunday, Sept. 6, near the town of Omak, prompting level 3 “go now” evacuations and numerous road closures. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

About 305 firefighters are assigned to the Cold Springs Fire as of Monday morning. Firefighters have been prioritizing the northeast portion of the fire, and they say they’ve made progress by establishing containment lines in that area.

“This progress has allowed the objectives of the fire to turn the corner and utilize some of those crews to be spread out and work containment lines farther into the charred area,” the IMT said Monday in an update on Inciweb.

The IMT said repairs to fencing and roads that were damaged during initial attack on the fire are being assessed for repair Monday. It said the Old Mill area will need some additional mop up with heavy equipment and water tenders.

Crews will be helping power companies with hazard trees near the power lines to make their work areas safe.

The public will continue to see smoke from smoldering trees in the area for several days. Crews are patrolling these areas to keep an eye on these hot spots.

Several buildings and outbuildings have been damaged or destroyed by the fire, but the exact number has not been released.

The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of an infant and serious injury of the child’s two adult parts who were found Wednesday within the fire perimeter.

Click for more details on the Cold Springs Fire.