Chuckanut fire

Firefighters are battling a wildfire on Chuckanut Mountain that has grown to 60 acres as of Wednesday.

A wildfire on Chuckanut Mountain grew to 60 acres Wednesday, and residents of nearby homes have been evacuated.

As of 4 p.m., 130 firefighters were on the scene and more were on the way, according to a news release from the state Department of Natural Resources.

Michael Krueger, spokesman for the incident management team deployed by Natural Resources, said fires of this complexity generally take a few days to extinguish.

The team expects to be fully staffed by Thursday and plans to consider scaling down on Saturday, he said.

Firefighters responded to calls about 4 p.m. Tuesday when the blaze was estimated at 2 to 3 acres. The fire is south of the Lost Lake Trail parking area.

“It was confusing from here, because of all the haze from B.C., whether this was a real fire or not,” said Chief David Ralston of the South Whatcom Fire Authority.

Skagit County Fire District 5 is on site to protect four homes near the blaze, Chief John Leander said. No damage has been reported, but residents have been evacuated.

High heat and low humidity combined with wind conditions contributed to the fire’s rapid growth overnight Tuesday, said Natural Resources spokeswoman Janet Pearce.

The fire is burning timber and young trees that were being grown for lumber, Krueger said.

Natural Resources has three helicopters in the area. They are useful for dousing fires in steep terrain such as this, Pearce said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, according to the release.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH

 

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