A wildfire that started shortly after noon on Monday (March 31) at the shooting range above Pearrygin Lake consumed about 25 acres of grassy hillside.

Winds pushed the fire up the slope from the shooting range and dry grasses fed the fire, said Fire Chief Don Waller of Okanogan County Fire District 6.

Waller said grass fires aren’t uncommon this time of year because of the prevalence of dry grasses from last year and a lack of new green grass.

“Fire can move awfully fast through grasses that are dried out,” Waller said. “The grasses are considered one-hour fuels. It takes an hour of sunlight to dry them out.”

Waller advised using caution when burning outdoors because of the risk of wildfire. “Keep your fires small, burn in the morning. Sometimes it takes more than one person” to manage a fire, he said.

Personnel from the fire district’s Mazama, Winthrop, Twisp and Carlton stations responded to the fire, as well as U.S. Forest Service and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) crews. Firefighters left around 6 p.m. Waller said DNR is investigating the cause of the fire.