SECOND UPDATE (Sept. 2): The injured firefighter has been identified as Okanogan Fire Department Assistant Chief Christian Johnson. He is in a medically induced coma with second- and third-degree burns over 50 to 60 percent of his body.
UPDATE (Sept. 2): The injured firefighter was flown from the scene to Harborview Medical Center, Seattle. No further information is available.
The state Department of Natural Resources is investigating the cause of the fire, which blackened nearly 142 acres of grass and brush.
OKANOGAN - Firefighters from several departments battled a wildfire Sunday afternoon, Sept. 1 off B&O North Road southwest of town.
Fire District No. 3's Okanogan, Malott and Omak stations were called around 4 p.m. to 181 B&O North Road for the fire, which spread quickly with flames reaching 40 feet in height. Riverside Fire District No. 7 and Conconully Fire District No. 9 were called to assist.
At least one person was injured, apparently a firefighter. Details are sketchy at this time.
LifeLine Ambulance was called to assist the person, who apparently suffered burns.
Okanogan County Emergency Management issued a Level 1 (be aware) evacuation notification for residents of the area. Flames burned close to several homes.
Fire units were staged at several sites, including homes and the Animal Foster Care Cat Shelter, 4 Spring Coulee Road, for structure protection. Some items outside home burned.
The fire burned into the Fletcher Loop Road area.
At one point, a Riverside fire unit radioed to dispatch that it was caught behind the fire line. A state Department of Natural Resources helicopter dropped water nearby. The Riverside unit was able to reach safety.
DNR also sent a couple airplanes.
By 6 p.m., local firefighters were in mop-up stage. Several units had left the scene by 6:30 p.m. DNR also remained on the scene.
Deputies, the Washington State Patrol an state Department of Fish and Wildlife monitored roadblocks, as several roads were closed. The U.S. Forest Service also responded.