Our Northwest

Chelan scarred but recovering from fires

Tuesday, October 6, 2015by  Jon Osterberg

I was braced for a charred landscape when I visited Chelan this past weekend. Sadly, I found plenty of black in patchwork patterns.
     But the nature of wildfire is such that, thankfully, not all of the landscape looked like crispy Chelan Butte.
     When the wildfire-sparked Chelan fires started in August, flames soon engulfed the 3,835-foot sentinel over town. Vibrant green in May and golden brown in summer, Chelan Butte now stands black against the blue autumn sky.
     But the town is alive and hopping again, as we learned while running the Miss Bardahl vintage hydroplane in Chelan's annual Mahogany & Merlot event Oct. 3.
     Sunday I drove beyond Manson for a clear view across the lake at the aftermath of the First Creek fire. Most disturbing was the sight of beachfront homes burned to the ground north of Lake Chelan State Park.
     Higher up the hillside, I saw where trees had "crowned" – flames leapt from treetop to treetop, leaving some unscathed while others got torched.
     Read The Seattle Times article to learn how Chelan and other Central Washington towns are recovering from the wildfires.

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