Airplane Lake Fire North Of Leavenworth Growing, Smokiest In Area
The Airplane Lake Fire northwest of Leavenworth is now burning nearly 6,000 acres, having grown by nearly a thousand acres in recent days.
A week ago, the fire covered just under 5,000 acres but is now estimated to be 5,908 acres , growing by a few acres each day.
Fire crews are trying to use natural features like rock escarpments, wet drainage bottoms and old fire scars to contain the fire.
A portion of the Pacific Crest Trail from Dishpan Gap to south of White Pass (in the Glacier Peak Wilderness) is still closed because of its proximity to the fire. Hikers and hunters are being asked to avoid the area.
The weather forecast shows the potential for an east wind event on Thursday-Friday, September 14-15. If this occurs, there’s a likelihood the fire will move to the west during that time.
According to the National Weather Service, the Airplane Lake Fire has been producing the most smoke in the region.
Smoke from the fire can blow down valley into Leavenworth and possibly the Wenatchee area, bringing poor air quality.
Tuesday’s cold front may slow smoke production for a day or two this week, but warm and dry conditions Thursday into early next week may cause smoke buildup and declining air quality.
Fire managers on scene say the good news is burn periods are getting shorter because of reduced hours of daily sunlight moving into the fall.
The Airplane Lake Fire is still zero percent contained, and could keep burning in its mountainous, heavily wooded location until there's a seasonal change in weather patterns that brings more precipitation.
The fire started on July 7 from a lightning strike. A total of six personnel are managing the fire.