Sunday, July 21, 2024

Evacuation orders lifted as Beehive Fire threat recedes

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WENATCHEE — Authorities have downgraded all evacuation orders related to the Beehive Reservoir Fire to Level 1 (be alert) advisories, signaling a significant reduction in the wildfire threat that had previously prompted urgent evacuations in the Squilchuck area.

The Chelan County Emergency Management office announced the change Saturday evening, stating, "We got lucky on this one," while commending the efforts of firefighting personnel.

This development marks a dramatic shift from earlier evacuation notices, which had included a Level 3 (get out now) order for residents from Hampton Road and beyond, and a Level 2 (be prepared to leave) notice along Squilchuck Road from Wenatchee Heights to Hampton Road.

Fire officials have not yet released updated information on the fire's size or containment levels. However, the relaxation of evacuation orders suggests that firefighters have made substantial progress in controlling the blaze.

The Beehive Fire, which ignited in the heavily forested area near Beehive Reservoir, had raised particular concern due to its potential for rapid spread and intense burning behavior. Wenatchee Valley Fire Chief Brian Brett had previously warned of the risk of "crowning tree fires with significant ember cast" in the forest and understory fuel types.

While the immediate threat appears to have subsided, residents are advised to remain vigilant. Level 1 evacuation advisories indicate that there is still some potential danger, and individuals should stay informed about the fire's status.

Local authorities continue to direct residents to the Chelan County Emergency Management website (co.chelan.wa.us/emergency-management) for the most current information on wildfire status and access to the live Emergency Incidents Map.

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