Okanogan County Emergency Management
About 15 acres of grass and sagebrush burned Sunday afternoon southeast of Omak in a wildfire of undetermined origin.
As of Wednesday, June 6, 2018
OMAK About 15 acres of grass and sagebrush burned Sunday afternoon southeast of town in a wildfire of undetermined origin.
Omak firefighters were called at 2:08 p.m. to milepost 77.3 on Highway 155. Okanogan and Malott fire departments and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs also responded. A local resident on a tractor also assisted.
The BIA is investigating the fire’s cause, said Omak Fire Chief Kevin Bowling.
Firefighters protected structures in the area; no buildings were damaged.
Highway 155 was closed to traffic until 4:33 p.m. the state Department of Transportation said.
“It burned right to the highway,” said Bowling, who noted smoke and fire were thick for a time.
“It’s extra-dry already, so be careful,” he said.
Forecasts show the Pacific Northwest is likely to have a higher-than-normal potential for wildfires this summer, said Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.
She planned to host a hearing yesterday in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on the 2018 fire season and preparedness efforts by the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Forest Service.
During May, Washington, Oregon and California received less than 50 percent of their average precipitation, which likely will result in dry conditions, she said.