Wildfires and smoke: Wednesday updates on major fires in WA, OR

Wednesday updates on Burbank Fire, Lick Creek Fire, Green Ridge Fire, Cedar Creek Fire, Varden Fire, Delancy Fire, and air quality

KENNEWICK, Wash. — We’re rounding up the latest information available midday Wednesday regarding wildfires, firefights, wind, smoke and air quality across Washington and northeast Oregon.

First, some good news: one large fire in our area is all but extinguished, and the smoke is moving out. However, the same wind clearing the air is making things tougher for firefighters.

RED FLAG WARNING: 3 p.m. Wednesday through 11 p.m. Thursday

HEAT ADVISORY: Ends 8 p.m. Wednesday; highs mid 90s to near 105

BURBANK FIRE: Now 98% contained at approx. 13,000 acres. A final update shows engines patrolled the perimeter until noon, then demobilized. Keep your fingers crossed that the wind does not awaken sleepy hotspots. The fire started near I-82 in Yakima County near Selah, west of S Badger Pocket Rd, in the Burbank Creek area. A fire investigator will work to find the cause.

CEDAR CREEK, VARDEN & DELANCY FIRES: The Varden Fire has burned 1,710 acres; Cedar Creek Fire has burned 182 acres. The two fires in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest are expected to merge today. The Delancy Fire has burned 17 acres. All crews have been pulled from the Delancy Fire due to weather-related safety concerns; a Tuesday aerial attack slowed forward movement. SR 20 (North Cascades Highway) is closed 20 miles west of Winthrop due to fire activity. Public Meeting: 6 p.m. Thursday, Mazama Store courtyard. Fire Info: 509-557-0740.

RED APPLE FIRE: Chelan County has issued a state of emergency for this 9,000-acre wildfire.

The Red Apple Fire was reported at about 6:55 p.m. Tuesday near Red Apple Road outside Cashmere. View the interactive evacuations map here. US 97A just north of Wenatchee is closed between Ohme Gardens Rd and Swakane Canyon Rd for fire response. Red Cross Shelter: 7th Day Adventist Church, 508 N Western Ave, Wenatchee.

Two large wildfires are burning in the Pomeroy Ranger District of Umatilla National Forest, where all Forest Service lands, roads and trails are now closed:

LICK CREEK FIRE (formerly Dry Gulch Fire): Nearly 700 firefighters are battling this 63,533-acre wildfire, one of two east of Walla Walla; it is 20% contained. Authorities note “continued movement in the timber litter” south and west. Lightning ignited fires southwest of Asotin on July 7. The Lick Creek and Dry Gulch wildfires burned together on July 8 and are now being fought as one fire. Level 1, 2, and 3 evacuations are in place – view the map PDF here.

GREEN RIDGE FIRE: This wildfire is 392 acres and 10% contained. The Green Ridge Fire is burning in steep, rugged terrain on the Pomeroy Ranger District 30 miles east of Walla Walla. Mill Creek Watershed, wilderness and recreation areas are at risk. Firefighters are working to strengthen containment lines + structure protection around Godman Guard Station and the Little Turkey Tail Recreation Residents tract. Fire Info: Blue Mountains Fire Information Blog.

The Washington Department of Ecology has issued an Air Quality Alert for Asotin, Garfield and Whitman counties. Air quality may reach levels that are unhealthy for sensitive groups. People with asthma, respiratory infection, diabetes, lung or heart disease, those who have had a stroke, infants, children, those older than 65, and pregnant women should limit time spent outdoors.

TRACK THE SMOKE: Washington Smoke Blog

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