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Tunk fire activity may increase

The Army National Guard has units stationed in Nespelem to assist with the North Star Fire.

Photo by Roger Harnack


The Army National Guard has units stationed in Nespelem to assist with the North Star Fire.

— Fire managers expect the Tunk Block Fire to be more active today, with flames backing under the forest canopy.

The lightning-caused fire, burning since Aug. 14, has charred 162,564 acres. As of this morning, it was 70 percent contained.

High overnight humidity and scattered rain showers continued to knock down the fire, officials said.

Threats to structures near uncontained perimeters are reduced, but the fire is expected to pick up, fire managers said. During the next couple days, temperatures are expected to rise and humidity to drop.

Today, the firefighting focus will be on the eastern fire perimeter with continued direct line construction, improvement of indirect containment lines and preparation for burnouts, if necessary.

Mop-up continues on containment lines south of state Highway 155 and will continue north into the Crawfish Lake area.

Most heat Tuesday was along the fire’s eastern edge, but reduced by an aerial attack, officials said. A small spot fire was extinguished.

North Star Fire

On the North Star Fire, machine work and hand crews mopped up along the eastern edge yesterday. The human-caused fire is mostly north of Nespelem, extending from Moses Meadows to state Highway 21 and northward almost to Republic.

The southern end “is looking good,” fire managers said.

A burnout of about 50 acres helped strengthen containment lines on the southeast edge.

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest lands east of Tonasket and South of state Highway 20 remain closed, as do Colville Indian Reservation forest and recreational areas.

The North Star Fire has charred 210,027 acres of land.

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