A wildfire burned just over one acre of dry grass and brush on a bench above the Chewuch River about 3 miles from Winthrop on Friday evening (June 27). The fire was reported near East Chewuch and Walter roads around 7 p.m. Responders included Okanogan County Fire District 6 fire chiefs and 15 volunteers from the Winthrop, Twisp and Mazama stations; Pearrygin Lake State Park; Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office; Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; U.S. Forest Service; and Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
District 6 Fire Chief Don Waller, who was the first to reach the scene, had to drive up and down “a couple different driveways to locate the fire,” because although the smoke was obvious, the fire itself was not readily visible from the main road, he said. The cause of the fire, which started on state wildlife land, is being investigated by the DNR, according to Waller.
“It is hot and dry out there,” said Waller, whose firefighters were working in near 100-degree conditions on Friday. “Almost any ignition source will start a fire and the fire will move fast. Be cautious when outside with machinery and vehicles, and avoid driving vehicles in dry grass with hot exhaust.”