Rain slows Mile Marker 10 wildfire; starts mudslides




Posted on August 11, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Updated Monday, Aug 12 at 6:21 AM

Two roads have been washed out after heavy rains drenched a pair of wildfire areas south of Wenatchee.  Chelan County authorities said Sunday night Colockum Road and Malaga Alcoa Highway both were covered in mud, causing evacuations, road closures and at least two homes to be knocked from their foundations.

No injuries were reported.

The rain was initially seen as a blessing, as hundreds of firefighters battled the new Mile Marker 10 fire near Malaga, which was started in a strong lightning storm Friday night.  Fire officials said the blaze had burned around 6,000 acres before the rain came.

Just south of the new wildfire, the Colockum Tarps Fire is still burning, though nearly completely contained.  However, both fire burn areas were left susceptible to mudslides.

Washington’s Department of Natural Resources said at least one transformer fire was started by the Sunday night storm, and the crew was briefly caught in the slide.

Chelan County said Sunday night Malaga Alcoa Highway was closed at milepost 12 and gave no indication when it might reopen.  No travel is possible above Kingsbury Canyon on Tarpiscan and Colockum Road.  A shelter has been setup at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Wenatchee.

The Mile Marker 10 fire was initially reported at about 11 p.m. Friday, sparked by lightning.

A public meeting is being organized for Monday evening. Information will be posted on www.inciweb.org/incident/3623 as soon as details have been finalized.

Friday night's lightning storm sparked dozens of new fires. Kittitas County Fire District No. 7 reported 20,000+ lightning strikes and 60+ fire starts in a 24-hour period.