Clallam County firefighters assist in battling Eastern Washington wildfire

The blaze in Stevens County has been challenging for firefighters because of steep terrain and accessibility to the fire lines.

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County firefighters have joined the battle against Stevens County’s Deep North Fire, which is threatening some 50 to 60 homes.

Firefighters from Clallam County Fire District No. 3, which covers Sequim, and Clallam Fire District No. 2, which covers the area around Port Angeles, mobilized Monday after a request for assistance from the state Fire Marshal’s Office.

Fire District No. 3 sent a type 3 wildland engine with four firefighters aboard, while Fire District No. 2 dispatched a four-wheel-drive brush engine staffed with firefighter/emergency medical technicians Steven Bentley and Rick Leffler.

Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday proclaimed a state of emergency for 20 counties in response to wildfires in Eastern Washington that threaten homes, businesses, public infrastructure and natural resources.

In addition to Stevens County, the proclamation covers Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Yakima, Walla Walla and Whitman counties.

Near Deep Lake

The Deep North Fire is burning about 8 miles southeast of Northport on the hillsides above Deep Lake. It started at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday and had covered some 600 acres as of Tuesday morning, according to wildland fire managers.

Residents of homes around Deep Lake are being notified that they should be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice.

The fire, which is burning in heavy brush and Douglas fir tree stands, has been challenging for firefighters because of the steep terrain and accessibility to the fire lines, fire managers said.

Initial attack resources have completed about 6,300 feet of dozer line in the northeast corner of the fire. Air support is limited due to the high number of fires in the surrounding area. However, three local helicopters as well as three air tankers from Canada have been helping to suppress the fire, said Mike DeRousie of Fire District No. 2.

Northwest Incident Management Team 10, a type 2 incident management team, was to assume command of the fire at 6 p.m. Tuesday, he said.

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