Whitmore Fire near Nespelem burns over 55,000 acres

NESPELEM, Wash. — A wildfire burning on the Colville Reservation south of Omak Lake has now grown to 55,970 acres (87.45 square miles), but evacuation levels have been downgraded to Level 2.

The Northwest Incident Management Team 12 said two fires merged to become one big fire, and firefighters are focusing on protecting structures near Kartar Valley Rd. and ones south of Columbia River Rd.

All areas that were previously under Level 3 evacuations are now under Level 2. This includes areas south of Columbia River Road from Panama Canyon to Piniel Ranch, and areas north of Columbia River Road from Panama Canyon to Omak-Kartar Road.

Also, Level 2 evacuations are in place for the Columbia River Road corridor, Kartar Valley, Colville Agency, the community of Nespelem and the SR-155 corridor from Colville Agency north up to the Mission. This means ‘be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.’


The team said an evacuation shelter has been set up at the Paschal Sherman Indian School at 169 North End Omak Lake Rd in Omak.

Animals can be sheltered at the Nespelem Rodeo Grounds at Schoolhouse Loop Road, in Nespelem. Debi Condon, a member of the Colville Tribe, said wildlife and livestock in affected areas have no feed.

The fire started on Tuesday, August 3, and was caused by lightning. The fire is 20 percent contained.

Whitmore Fire Map August 9

Northwest Incident Management Team 12