Canyon Creek Fire remains active, evacuation alerts remain


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. Flames spread east and north along Highway 153 as DNR firefighters on the road work to control the blaze.
PATEROS – A wildfire, now called the Canyon Creek Fire, that began just after noon on Saturday, July 15, along State Route 153 about a mile north of Carlton burned some 300 acres and prompted evacuation alerts for residents in the surrounding area. According to the Okanogan County Emergency Management’s Facebook website, Level 3 (Evacuate Now) evacuation orders were issued for residents living from Carlton north to Benson Creek and east up Texas Creek. A Level 2 evacuation alert (Be Prepared to Evacuate) was issued to those living from Benson Creek to Lower Beaver Creek.

PATEROS – A wildfire, now called the Canyon Creek Fire, that began just after noon on Saturday, July 15, along State Route 153 about a mile north of Carlton burned some 300 acres and prompted evacuation alerts for residents in the surrounding area.
According to the Okanogan County Emergency Management’s Facebook website, Level 3 (Evacuate Now) evacuation orders were issued for residents living from Carlton north to Benson Creek and east up Texas Creek. A Level 2 evacuation alert (Be Prepared to Evacuate) was issued to those living from Benson Creek to Lower Beaver Creek.
By 9 p.m. Saturday evening the fire had grown to an estimated 1,000 acres and state mobilization of fire resources had been ordered, the OCEM website said.
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 power pole was toppled by the flames before the fire jumped to the west side of the highway. The fire later crossed the Methow River and continued to burn for more than two miles north and east.
The Okanogan County Public Utility District cut power temporarily from Twisp to Libby Creek owing to burning power poles and downed lines.
A burned area on the immediate east side of State Route 153 was taped off for later investigation as the potential ignition site.
As of this writing, Sunday morning, July 16, the Canyon Creek fire is still active, according to OCEM updates. Level 3 and Level 2 evacuations remain in place and State Route 153 remains closed at the intersection of the Twisp-Carlton Road just south of Carlton and at Lower Beaver Creek Road.
Red Cross evacuation shelters have been established at the Twisp Community Center and Brewster High School
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.

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