Green Lake, Smith Lake Fires Grow Overnight

OMAK – Two wildfires burning in Central Washington have grown overnight, but while structures are threatened, none have burned.

The larger of the fires is now the Smith Lake Fire.  Estimates from crews at the scene put the size of the fire at 13,336 acres, but they expect that to go down as better measurements are made.  Three homes are in a Level III required evacuation, while two are in a Level II suggested evacuation.  Twelve families that were evacuated on Friday were allowed to return home on Saturday morning.

The fire is burning north of Highway 174, about five miles west of Coulee Dam.  It is burning sagebrush and short grasses.  No structures have burned in the fire.  Over 150 firefighters are fighting the blaze, which has slowed on Saturday.  There have been slight winds in the area, and it is 75 percent contained.

The fire was first reported on Friday morning.  Crews from Douglas and Grant counties have been on the scene from the beginning, while firefighters from across the state have been arriving to help them out.  The state has sent a management team to help coordinate the fighting of the fire.

The smaller of the two fires is the Green Lake Fire, northwest of Omak.  As of Saturday afternoon, it had grown to 2,600 acres.  No evacuations are in effect, although residents are on alert.  Some who left when the fire started on Thursday have returned to their homes.

That fire reportedly started in a pump house on Thursday afternoon.  That is the only building that has burned.  A section of Green Lake Road is closed due to the fire, and other road closures have been happening as situations warrant.  The fire is burning in brush and timber.  Around 250 firefighters are on the scene.