Sun Mountain Fire burning near Winthrop

WINTHROP – Hotshot crews from La Grande, Ore. and Entiat, Wash. arrived in the Methow Valley today (Saturday, July 13) to catch helicopter flights in to work on the Sun Mountain Fire. The fire is still estimated at about 35 acres and is burning in the steep terrain of the Lake Chelan Sawtooth Wilderness; in the south fork of War Creek drainage, southwest of Winthrop.

Five helicopters are supporting the fire, two for transport, two providing bucket drops and another providing aerial reconnaissance. With the calmer winds, there was less fire activity today. Firefighters worked along the left flank of the fire, using chainsaws, Pulaskis and shovels to establish a containment line.Some of the firefighters who have been working on the fire since earlier in the week will return home tonight to refurbish their gear and get ready for other assignments.

An area closure is in place to provide for public and firefighter safety. It begins at the confluence of War Creek and the South Fork War Creek and extends southwest following Black Ridge to Sun Mt, then following Chelan Crest from Sun Mt. to Battle Mt. continuing northeast along Snowshoe Ridge to the wilderness boundary, then north along the wilderness boundary back to the beginning.

Though the name may cause some confusion, Sun Mountain Lodge is not threatened by the fire, and is in fact separated from the fire by several miles of forest, rivers and ridgetops.

Sun Mountain Fire information is available online at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3507 and updates are posted at www.twitter.com/OkaWenNF.

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