Badger Fire In East Wenatchee Fully Contained, Mopped Up
The Badger Fire in East Wenatchee is now mopped up less than 18 hours after being first reported Thursday afternoon.
The fire rapidly grew to more than 700 acres, but was quickly diminished with the help of seven aircraft and extra manpower from across the region.
Wenatchee Valley Fire Chief Brian Brett says a timely response from a crew member prevented the fire from spreading much farther.
"We had a really, really close call where it jumped our containment line, the upper Badger Mountain Road, it jumped it," said Brett. "Fortunately, one of our brush truck captains saw it and was able to contain it to a 20 (feet) x 20 (feet)."
A state level response team was scheduled to take over management of the fire Thursday night but was not needed after the prompt response by local firefighters.
State mobilization was initially authorized about an hour after the fire was first reported at 3:17pm Thursday, which quickly boosted the response from aircraft.
Brett says the vastly improved coordination between state and local resources in the past several years helped make the difference in confining the Badger Fire.
"The value added, if we put the fire out now in one operational area and we used seven aircraft, that is financially way better than having a weeklong incident, economic impacts, road closures, inconveniences," Brett said. "We're all about hit these things with everything you got."
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office reported the fire to be fully contained, with all levels of evacuation lifted and Badger Mtn. Road fully reopened at about 11:30 today.
Brett said local crews will keep patrolling the area looking for hot spots for a while.
At one point, five airplanes and two helicopters were assigned to the fire.
Level 1 one evacuations had been in place near Badger Mountain Road, which had been closed from Canyon Hill Road in East Wenatchee and Milepost 13 to the east.
At its peak, the fire was burning in wheat, sagebrush, and shrub-steppe on a steep terrain and was threatening crops and power line distribution.