White River, Irving Peak Fires Now Merged
The White River and Irving Peak fires near Lake Wenatchee are now connected, having merged while they've slowly burned downhill.
They've burned close to each other since being sparked by lightning on Aug. 11 about 15 miles northwest of Plain.
Heather Appelhoff with the U.S. Forest Service says the fires are challenging to battle because they're burning on steep, wooded and mountainous terrain.
"The fires have been very difficult to access from the very beginning," said Appelhof. "And from the beginning, they have been using aircraft as well to, kind of, slow down the spread of the water using water drops, but really you need boots of the ground to work with that water to get it out."
The White River and Irving Peak fires have actually seen little growth over the past several days.
They've burned a combined 9,579 acres and are 10 percent contained.
Appelhoff says the bigger issue with the two fires is the amount of smoke they've produced, which has mostly blown into the Wenatchee Valley.
She says a cold front is bringing temporary relief, however.
"We're expecting it to blow out some of the smoke through Friday, but those smoky conditions will return, probably Saturday and into the weekend," Appelhof said. "And they may last for several days."
Smoke from the close by Minnow Ridge Fire has also been producing a lot of smoke.
The Minnow Ridge Fire is even further into a wooded area and is likely to impact the local vicinity until a season ending event such as multiple days of significant rain or snow.