30 homes evacuated as Leavenworth wildfire spreads

LEAVENWORTH, Wash. - An out-of-control wildfire burning about five miles northeast of the Bavarian-themed village of Leavenworth has doubled in size and residents of 30 homes have been forced to evacuate.

The Eagle Fire has now burned about 1,500 acres and fire crews gave residents of some homes only a few moment's notice to pack up and get out as flames approached.

Residents of another 35 homes from Bjork Canyon to the Van Creek area and up Eagle Road are on standby. They may have to leave at any time if the fire picks up in their direction.

Fire officials say the wildfire is unpredictable after it was discovered Monday and then flared up Tuesday afternoon and began burning in a northwesterly to westerly direction.

About 300 people are now on scene fighting the blaze, using bulldozers, helicopters and air tankers. A command post is set up at the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery.

King County Fire District is sending four fire engines to fight the wildfire, while East Pierce Fire & Rescue is also sending support.

Fighting the fire is very difficult. Crews have to maneuver through steep terrain filled with thick timbers and brush. So rather than walk into these difficult areas, fire crews are attacking the blaze with bulldozers, creating a fire line on the east and west sides of the blaze.

Fire crews are also building fire lines where the bulldozers can't reach. The plan now is to contain the blaze and attack it with air tankers and helicopters from above.

There is still no work on what sparked the fire, but officials said it may have been sparked by recent lightning strikes.