Colockum Tarps Fire: Lightening prompts evacuations near existing wildfire

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   Aug. 11, 2013 at 8:14 PM   |   0 comments

Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Just when firefighters had all-but-contained the Colockum Tarps Fire -- which had been raging since July -- Friday night lightening started another wildfire in the Wenatchee, Wash., area.

The new Mile Marker 10 Fire, just half a mile from the Colockum Tarps Fire, grew to 5,000 acres over the weekend and prompted the evacuations of 40 homes.

Firefighters have been making aerial water drops to stop the burn.

“It’s burning so quickly, moving really rapidly through grass and sage,” public information officer Cindy Bork told reporters. “You can’t put firefighters on the ground in front of something like that.”

Fire officials saw more than 20,000 lightening strikes in a 24-hour period.

Chelan County Fire Captain told the Wenatchee World that he'd never seen lightening start so many new fires.

“It was a wild storm,” said Chelan County Fire Dist. 7 Capt. Pat Moore. “I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything like it before. You could literally watch starts [new fires] on the ridges over from us.”

“There’s a lot of homes northwest of the fire,” Bork added. “It’s burning up to this steep rim rock. It’s our hope we can keep it from moving down through some of the scrub and some of the sage.”

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