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Community meeting set in Twisp; firefighters tackle new fire

— A community meeting is planned for 7 p.m. Friday at the Methow Valley Community Center, 201 Methow Valley Highway, to update people on the Carlton Complex, Little Bridge Creek and Upper Falls fires.

The Carlton Complex has burned across more than 253,000 acres and destroyed almost 300 homes. The lightning-caused fire started July 14.

Upper Falls is burning north of Winthrop between Falls Creek and the Pasayten Wilderness.

The Little Bridge Creek Fire, also caused by lightning, started about 6:30 p.m. Aug. 2 in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest about 10 miles west of Winthrop. It is being managed by Washington Incident Management Team 5.

Approximately 475 persons were in camp this morning for the fire, including a Type 1 hotshot crew and numerous other hand crews and engines. Two helicopters are assigned to the fire, with additional air support available from other fires in the area if needed.

The fire in a very steep, roadless area in heavy timber with a large number of bug-killed trees. An infrared flight last night sized the fire at that time at about 1,500 acres with growth primarily to the east and southeast. It is zero percent contained.

No structures or infrastructure are immediately threatened, the Forest Service said. No Level 2 or Level 3 evacuation notices exist for this fire, but a Level 1 (lowest) notification remains in place for the Pine Forest and Sun Mountain areas.

On Wednesday and again today, operations personnel continue to construct indirect line in appropriate locations between the fire and structures and infrastructure. Some of those lines will be used for significant firing operations to remove remaining fuel between the fire and those structures. Those burn-out operations are expected to begin this weekend, assuming appropriate conditions and resources are present.

Firefighters expect hot and dry weather with gusty afternoon winds today. A dry cold front is expected to pass through the area on Friday. Warming and drying will then occur over the weekend and early next week, with a chance of thunderstorms on Tuesday.

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