Cause of fire still unknown
TONASKET – The Pickens North Fire started on Wednesday, Aug. 24, approximately five miles north of Tonasket and is estimated to be 760 acres in size and was estimated to be 95 percent contained, according to the final update given by Allen Lebowitz, a information officer for the state Department of Natural Resources, which was fighting the fire with help from local fire departments.
The fire is located in the vicinity of Whiskey Creek and Oberg Lake on private lands protected by the DNR and is being managed by a DNR Type III incident management team, Incident Commander Jim Heuring.
The cause of the fire which started at about 4 p.m. on Aug. 24 is still under investigation, according to Lebowitz. It burned in grass, sage and some timber and is considered contained with some control lines.
The fire suppression efforts were tested by strong winds with gusts to 35 mph last Saturday, Aug. 27 and there was minimal fire behavior observed. With that, the Team began the process of demobilizing resources. A small contingency of crew was be working the fire on Sunday focusing on fire line rehab and it was anticipated that the fire would be turned over to the home unit Monday with total containment estimated on Tuesday, Aug. 30.