1. Medium – fire from the First Creek Fire burning in timber as viewed across Lake Chelan.
2. SOUNDBITE (English): Rob Allen, Deputy Incident Commander: "Nationally, the system is pretty tapped, there is a lot of fires going on not only here, but in Washington, in Oregon, Northern California still burning up. And things have started to pick up in Idaho, Montana and Colorado. Nationally we are at planning level 5. Everything is being used right now, so competition for resources is fierce."
3. Medium – fire from the First Creek Fire burning in timber as viewed across Lake Chelan.
4. SOUNDBITE (English): Rob Allen, Deputy Incident Commander: "It's hot, it's dirty, they're sleeping out in the woods, they get up every morning before the sun comes up, they eat breakfast, getting on the line working a full day and then coming back. It's what we train for. It's what we have ourselves set up to do."
5. Wide pan: helicopter carrying a water bucket.
6. SOUNDBITE (English): Rob Allen, Deputy Incident Commander: "The fire is moving very quickly, any time we get any wind on it it moves very fast."
7. Medium – a Chelan County Public Utility District worker walks past a burned structure.
8. SOUNDBITE (English): Rob Allen, Deputy Incident Commander: "We're probably at just a little over a thousand people working on this incident right now. Number of homes threatened, it depends what area we are in now. Union Valley and some of those neighborhoods up there, looking at about 400 homes. Earlier when the fire was moving through, we took a real snap and we were looking at all of Chelan, not only the residences, but the outbuildings and all of the industry that's here, we were at well over 2,000 structures threatened at that time."
9. Medium – a second Chelan County Public Utility District worker walks past a burned structure.
10. SOUNDBITE (English): Rob Allen, Deputy Incident Commander:
"The military has been activated. We have National Guard here to help us out, the Canadians have lent recourses that have come south of the border, we are talking to New Zealand and Australia, countries we partner with often to fight fire with, we'll be getting resources from there. Everyone comes together in a situation like this."
This scenic lakeside town in the Cascade Mountains counts on money from summer visitors, but many tourists fled after large wildfires erupted last week that burned dozens of homes and threaten many more.
Mike Steele, director of the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce, said it's too early to determine the economic impact of the lost tourist dollars. However he said it would be "significant."
"We're working hard to get our feet back on the ground," Steele said, noting that many of the people who would serve tourists have either had to leave or lost homes.
The several large fires burning near the town of Chelan have scorched more than 155 square miles and destroyed an estimated 75 homes and businesses Friday and Saturday, officials said. Scores of homes remain threatened, and mandatory evacuation orders remained in effect for more than 2,900 people in the Chelan area.
Chelan Fruit lost one of its major fruit-packing warehouses in Chelan to wildfire on Friday. The warehouse contained 1.8 million pounds of apples and employed about 800 people, said Mac Riggan, director of marketing for the company.
The employees are being sent to Chelan Fruit's other facilities in the region, Riggan said. "Our other plant in Chelan is fully operational," he said.
Washington is by far the nation's largest apple producer, and the industry produced more than 140 million cartons of apples last year, of which perhaps 6 million remain in warehouses, Riggan said.
"It's not a major loss to the industry," Riggan said. "It is to us."
Washington farmers grossed about $2 billion from the apple crop last year, and late-season apples tend to sell at a discount as buyers are waiting for new fruit, he said.
The air was clouded with smoke in Spokane, about 150 miles east of the Chelan fire, on Monday. Air quality was expected to remain in the "unhealthy for sensitive groups" range for at least the next couple of days because of the Chelan fire and other fires, according to the Spokane Regional Health District, which serves the metropolitan area of nearly 500,000 people.
So many fires are burning across the West that the National Interagency Fire Center announced Monday that 200 active-duty military troops were being called in to help. They will be sent to a fire on Aug. 23.