Canyon Creek Fire grows as residents receive evacuation alerts

Three years since Carlton Complex

Two hoses from a DNR pumper target flames close to the highway.

A Forest Service investigator adds more fire scene tape to the suspected ignition area.


PATEROS – A wildfire, now called the Canyon Creek Fire, that began Saturday morning, July 15, along Highway 153 - the Methow Valley Highway - about a mile north of Carlton continues to spread at this writing, prompting evacuation alerts for residents in the surrounding area.

According to the Okanogan County Emergency Management’s Facebook website, Level 3 (Evacuate Now) evacuation orders have been issued for residents living from Carlton north to Benson Creek and east up Texas Creek. A Level 2 evacuation alert (Be Prepared to Evacuate) has been issued to those living from Benson Creek to Lower Beaver Creek.

A power pole was toppled by the flames before they jumped to the west side of the highway. The fire has since jumped the Methow River and is estimated to be more than 300 acres in size.

Red Cross evacuation shelters have been established at the Twisp Community Center and Brewster High School

The alarm sounded at the Douglas Okanogan Fire District 15 fire hall at 12:41 p.m., Saturday, July 15, right in the middle of the city’s biggest three-day celebration of the year – the Apple Pie Jamboree. A water tender was dispatched from Pateros to assist crews from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) who were first on the scene from Twisp.

A source on scene with the DNR crew said they were just sitting down to lunch in Twisp when the dispatch call came in.

A helicopter with a water bucket was on the scene early and an AT-802F Fire Boss amphibious scooper air tanker was seen skimming Lake Pateros to assist with water air drops.

A burned area on the immediate east side of Highway 153 had been taped off for later investigation as the potential ignition site.

The Canyon Creek Fire comes almost three years to the day after the Carlton Complex Fire, that started from lightning strikes on July 14, 2014, burned more than 250,000 acres before it was contained.

See more Canyon Creek Fire Photos in our Photo Gallery - at the bottom of our home page

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