Fire blackens acreage north of Omak

TWISP – Okanogan County Emergency Management has issued a Level 2 (be ready) evacuation warning for Smith Canyon Road and Libby Creek Road west of Smith Canyon.

The Crescent Mountain Fire has burned to Mission Peak.

Libby Creek Road is closed at Highway 153 to all but local traffic.

The fire has burned across more than 44,000 acres of land as of Friday, Aug. 31.

The lightning-caused blaze began July 29 west of town in the Twisp River drainage. As of Friday, it is 35 percent contained.

Increased winds and lower humidity led the fire to grow in the Buttermilk Butte area late Thursday afternoon, said the U.S. Forest Service. The fire, at 44,450 acres total, also grew in the triangle near Kenny Dip, at Scaffold Ridge and West Buttermilk Road.

Crews continued to hold and mop up in the Twisp River corridor. A hot shot crew worked with aerial operations to cool and hold the blaze in the Slate Dip area.

Structural assessment teams planned to continue working in the Libby Creek area.

Level 3 (get out now) evacuation warnings are in place for areas west of the Little Bridge Creek intersection in the Twisp River valley.

An advisory was issued for Poorman Creek.

A Red Cross shelter is available at the Methow Valley Community Center, 201 E. Methow Valley Highway.

Some 625 firefighters and support personnel are assigned to the fire.

Meanwhile, the McLeod Fire has grown to 22,511 acres about eight miles north of Mazama. The lighting-caused fire, reported Aug. 11, was 35 percent contained as of Friday.

The Holman Fire, at 297 acres and no containment, is burning in the Pasayten Wilderness on Holman Peak. The cause is unknown. It began Aug. 17.

Forest officials said Hart’s Pass Road has reopened, although several trails in the area remain closed including part of the Pacific Crest Trail.

The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and North Cascades National Park have issued trail and area closures near all three fires. Maps and information are on the InciWeb site.

Temporary flight restrictions also have been issued by the Federal Aviation Administration.

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