us forest fire update 200Location:

  • Chelan Ranger District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
  • Chelan County, Washington
  • 3 miles NW of Lucerne, Wash.

Start Date: June 29th 2015                                             Percent Contained:  0%

Size:  580                                                                             Growth Potential: Moderate

Cause: Lightning                                                              Vegetation: Timber                                                         

Notice: Hikers and backpackers; be aware a Pacific Crest Trail closure and detour is in effect due to fire activity. Please check the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest website prior to reaching the Glacier Peak Wilderness or call the Chelan Ranger District (509) 682-4900 for specific information.


Lucerne Wash.--  Warmer  and drier weather conditions over the past two days have led to increased fire activity on the Wolverine Fire, burning 3 miles northwest of Lucerne.  The lightning-ignited fire started on June 29 and has grown to approximately 580 acres.  The fire is moving northwest, backing down toward the lakeshore on the ridge between Wolverine and Riddle Creek drainages.  There is also fire movement toward the north into Riddle Creek.  The fire is burning in extremely steep and rocky terrain that is unsafe for direct attack by firefighters . 

Additionally, use of air resources, such as helicopters to drop water on the fire, is tactically inefficient in this steep and rocky terrain.  Fire managers continue to monitor the fire and have developed management action points when the use of additional resources may prove successful.

One of the management action points includes structure protection on cabins at the mouth of Riddle Creek.  Because the Wolverine fire is progressing down toward the lakeshore, on Thursday fire crews will initiate structure protection on cabins in Riddle Creek on National Park Service land.  Work will include wrapping cabins in fireproof material and turning on pumps and sprinkler systems already in place around the cabins.

There is no threat to Lucerne or Holden Village at this time. Holden Village remains on a Level one evacuation notice. 

Temperatures are expected to increase throughout the weekend, which may further increase fire activity.  Smoke is visible but light throughout the Lake Chelan corridor, including downtown and in Stehekin, but all businesses remain open and are welcoming visitors.  Boaters and Lady of the Lake passengers will be able to see the fire and occasional tree torching from the lake.  Please stay clear of firefighter activity and remain a safe distance away from the shoreline in the vicinity of the fire.

fire 7 30 15 450

Wolverine Fire July 29, 2015 Arial Recon. Flight

sheriffsmOn July 29, 2015 Sheriff Brian Burnett reports the arrest of Justin Dyal, a 22 year old Wenatchee resident, following a vehicle pursuit that started in the City of Wenatchee.

At 10:00 this morning Wenatchee Police Officers responded to Cashmere Valley Bank for a reported forgery in progress. A female at the location was attempting to cash a stolen check. When Officer’s arrived they observed a white Dodge truck that was abnormally parked in the parking lot. The Officer checked the vehicle’s registration and learned it was a stolen vehicle from Douglas County. The vehicle, a full sized Dodge truck, drove out of the parking lot leaving the female inside the bank. The Wenatchee Officer followed the truck out of the bank parking lot and a vehicle pursuit began a short time later.

The truck led pursuing police vehicles southbound on Western Avenue onto #2 Canyon and continued up the dirt / primitive road. Because of the poor road condition the pursuing police vehicle’s, all of which were cars, discontinued the pursuit. Multiple Chelan County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the area with their 4-wheel drive vehicles and began looking for the stolen Dodge truck.

The truck was located unoccupied near a dead-end Forest Service road, but a motorcycle that had been in the rear of the truck was gone. Deputies followed the tire tracks of the motorcycle and learned a general direction of the fleeing motorcycle. Other Deputy’s positioned themselves up both Halverson Canyon and the Beehive drainage area off of Mission Creek Road. Because of the rugged terrain and multiple roads / trails Chelan County launched its helicopter to assist in the search.

Around 12:00 a Deputy positioned on Halverson Canyon observed a motorcycle traveling down the dirt road near the top of the ridge. The rider turned the motorcycle off and remained near a cluster of trees. The helicopter was called into the area to provide aerial surveillance of the suspect. The helicopter coordinated efforts with the ground Deputies and were able to successfully apprehend the suspect.

They identified the suspect as Justin Dyal. Chelan County Sheriff’s Office is working with Wenatchee Police Department on numerous crimes committed by Dyal to include the vehicle pursuit, possession of stolen property, fraud/forgery, and other charges.

The stolen Dodge truck was returned to the registered owner.

buckner logoIt's a busy time of the year at the Buckner Orchard!  Thinning of the apples continues, mowing of the orchard and especially the ditches is time consuming, water, water, and more water is needed to ensue healthy trees and a good crop.  Electric fences for bears need to be re-hung, and new-born fawns hang-out with the does and young bucks that believe the orchard is their's.
THINNING - In a commercial orchard, hand thinning is minimized with the use of early spraying, followed by hand thinning. The Buckner Orchard is a naturally organic orchard and traditional hand thinning methods are used here.
The primary advantage of thinning is poor quality or damaged fruit can be removed.  Apples are thinned so that fruit clusters are about 4-6 inches apart with one apple per cluster remaining, preventing fruit from growing into each other causing deformation.  Thinning also reduces the burden on individual limbs and the chance of broken branches.  The result, larger, healthier, and better looking fruit.
To reduce both deer and mice damage to trees, thinned apples are raked away from the trees, to the center between the rows.
Only the trees within the two fenced areas are thinned.  The trees outside the fences are stripped of all apples to prevent bear damage.  Even those few apples missed while stripping attract bears and are a threat to the health of young and old trees alike.  Both adult and cubs are very adept at climbing through out a tree of almost any size to "harvest" their share of the fruit!
GRASS REMOVAL - Weed eating and mowing of the traditional rill (ditch) irrigation system is necessary to ensue water reaches all parts of the orchard, especially in this year of little and infrequent rainfall and low runoff.  Grasses grow well, most specifically in the ditches.
WATER - Currently there is adequate flow from the intake just below the Rainbow Creek bridge, but as the summer continues and there is less runoff, efficient use of the available water is critical.  Ditches, from the intake to the last little rill need to be clean, without blockage or overrun, resulting this year an a lot of digging to ensure better flow.
It will be interesting to see how the water flow holds up as we move into the later months of the growing season.  (Water is run until October.)
FENCES - Two of the three sections of the Orchard are fenced, and with specific goals in mind. 
The fences are ten feet high, tall enough to prevent elk and deer from entering the orchard when there is snow on the ground.  The low gates are open to allow deer in the orchard up until bear's become visitors.  (The deer help clean up both small brush and thinned apples, leaving less food for rodents who damage trees.)
Beginning about now, the low gates are closed and the five strands of flexible electric fence are added.  Deer can still enter the orchard by jumping over the low gates,  but bears are deterred by both the gates and the electric fence.
During the winter, an upper panel is hung above the low gates, to prevent elk and deer from entering.  (The elk are only present during the winter and can do severe damage to trees of all ages, especially the younger ones.  Elk very efficiently strip all the bark from leaders, leaving little of the cambian layer to nourish the tree.)  The electric fence is removed in early November.
It should be noted that this creative and effective system was designed by our orchardist, Laurie Thompson.
In addition, Dana Barton and her NPS crew continue renovation of the historic Buckner Home.  Washington Conservation Corp and Youth Conservation Corp crews do fire prevention work around the two sleeping cabins, clean up downed trees and brush helping reduce fire fuel, and individual and Foundation-organized groups work on the many tasks listed here, and more!
Other odd jobs relative to the orchard are also time consuming: removal of protective wire from around younger trees, wrapping of leaders in the unfenced part of the orchard, cleaning up and preparing for the replanting of new trees, just to name a few.
To assist in the work above, the Foundation organizes work parties to help during June and July when the majority of these task need to be done.
11 individuals at each of the two work parties thinned, raked, mowed and did weed eating on ditches, shoveled gravel from the intake, cleaned up and removed wood (fire fuel) from what had been the sign yard near the Buckner Home, removal of volunteer trees, cleaned the Buzzard Cabin, mowed and watered lawns, and more.   And, this was during one of the hottest parts of the summer! 
Many thanks to all who participated, both on those two days and as individuals at other times!
Have you contributed to the work at the Orchard and Homestead by securing a membership for 2015 or generously providing a donation?  It is only through your help that we are able to fulfill our mission; To promote the care and preservation of the Buckner Homestead, Orchard, and community atmosphere in perpetuity.
  • June 18, Orchard work party, Stehekin, 8:30 AM, Thursday
  • July 11, Orchard work party, Stehekin, 8:30 AM, Saturday
  • August 8, Square Dance at the Orchard, Stehekin,  7 PM, Saturday
  • August 10, Summer Board Meeting, Stehekin Bakery, 8 AM, Monday
  • October 9, Fall work party, Buckner Orchard, 9 AM, Friday
  • October 9, Harvest Fest Kickoff program, 7 PM, Friday
  • October 10,  Harvest Fest at the Orchard, !0 AM, Saturday
  • October 11, Poetry Night, Stehekin, 7 PM, Bakery Cabin #1, Sunday


sheriffsmSheriff Brian Burnett reports on 07-28-15 around 8:40am Deputies responded to Manson Bay Marina for a body floating near a boat. Deputies arrived and talked to a family that was boarding their boat when they noticed a body floating between their boat and the dock. Chelan County Deputies, Manson Fire, and Lake Chelan EMS removed the female body from the water. She was immediately recognized as Catherine L. Maynard, 50 yoa, of Manson, WA.

Deputies reviewed surveillance video of the area and observed Maynard walking down the dock around 10:30pm, losing her balance and falling into the water. Maynard was alone at the time.

Maynard had been out boating with a friend that evening and fell asleep on the boat after the trip. When she awoke, she left the boat and that is when she lost her balance, fell into the water and drowned.

The incident is still being investigated and Detectives are waiting for the toxicology report to return.