Pickens North Fire burns 760 acres

Gary DeVon/staff photo The view of the fire from south of Oroville soon after it was called in.

Gary DeVon/staff photo
The view of the fire from south of Oroville soon after it was called in.

Cause of fire still unknown

Brent Baker/Submitted photo  Two planes used to attack the fire, barely visible through the orange tinged smoke.

Brent Baker/Submitted photo
Two planes used to attack the fire, barely visible through the orange tinged smoke.

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.

Brent Baker/Submitted photo  Some of the more than 700 acres burned by last week’s fire.

Brent Baker/Submitted photo
Some of the more than 700 acres burned by last week’s fire.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He has a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.