Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Pioneer Fire grows to 10,266 acres, red flag warning continues

Community meeting scheduled for Wednesday in Manson


CHELAN — The Pioneer Fire has expanded to 10,266 acres as of Tuesday, July 9, with containment remaining at 14%, according to fire officials. The blaze, which began on June 8, continues to challenge firefighters amid persistent critical fire weather conditions.

The National Weather Service has again issued a red flag warning for the area, signaling ongoing heightened fire danger due to weather conditions.

Fire activity intensified on Monday as the blaze crossed Meadow Creek and advanced toward Horton Creek. Helicopters were deployed to slow the fire's progress with water drops. A small spot fire west of Goat Mountain continues to be monitored, with no smoke observed in that area.

Firefighters are preparing the FS 4330 and 4010 roads for use as potential fire control lines. Hotshot crews and engine teams are constructing contingency lines and installing hose lays along Nelson Ridge, preparing for a possible tactical firing operation.

At the north end of Lake Chelan, crews are reopening old firelines around Stehekin, clearing and preparing these control lines. They are also installing hose lays along strategic firelines and removing hazardous trees along transportation corridors.

The firefighting team now includes 736 personnel, with additional resources arriving. Four more boats are expected today to facilitate transport along the remote Lake Chelan coastline. Three wildland fire modules are also joining to support operations in the rugged terrain.

Despite the fire's growth, officials emphasize that the communities of Chelan, Manson, and Stehekin remain open to visitors. However, a closure order is in effect for much of the fire area within the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Level 1, 2, and 3 evacuation orders remain in place around the fire zone. Residents and visitors are urged to stay informed about current evacuation status through the county's official channels.

A community meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 10, at 5:30 p.m. at the Manson Grange. The meeting will also be streamed live on the Pioneer Fire Facebook page.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation but is suspected to be human-caused.


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